Renovascular disease, microcirculation, and the progression of renal injury: role of angiogenesis

Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2011 Apr;300(4):R783-90. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00657.2010. Epub 2011 Feb 9.


Emerging evidence supports the pivotal role of renal microvascular disease as a determinant of tubulo-interstitial and glomerular fibrosis in chronic kidney disease. An intact microcirculation is vital to restore blood flow to the injured tissues, which is a crucial step to achieve a successful repair response. The purpose of this review is to discuss the impact and mechanisms of the functional and structural changes of the renal microvascular network, as well as the role of these changes in the progression and irreversibility of renal injury. Damage of the renal microcirculation and deterioration of the angiogenic response may constitute early steps in the complex pathways involved in progressive renal injury. There is limited but provocative evidence that stimulation of vascular proliferation and repair may stabilize renal function and slow the progression of renal disease. The feasibility of novel potential therapeutic interventions for stabilizing the renal microvasculature is also discussed. Targeted interventions to enhance endogenous renoprotective mechanisms focused on the microcirculation, such as cell-based therapy or the use of angiogenic cytokines have shown promising results in some experimental and clinical settings.

Publication types

  • Lecture
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Awards and Prizes
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Kidney / blood supply*
  • Kidney / physiopathology
  • Kidney Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Microcirculation / physiology
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic / physiology*
  • United States
  • Vascular Diseases / physiopathology*