Expression of ACE and ACE2 in patients with hypertensive nephrosclerosis

Kidney Blood Press Res. 2011;34(3):141-9. doi: 10.1159/000324521. Epub 2011 Feb 24.


Background: The interplay between intrarenal angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) and type 2 ACE (ACE2) might play important roles in the pathogenesis of hypertensive nephrosclerosis (HTN), but human data are limited.

Methods: Renal biopsy specimens of 41 patients with HTN and 10 transplant donors as controls (CTL) were studied. The glomerular and tubulointerstitial mRNA expression of ACE and ACE2 was measured by laser microdissection and real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The corresponding protein level was determined by immunohistochemistry.

Results: Neither the glomerular nor tubulointerstitial mRNA expression of ACE or ACE2 correlated with the corresponding protein level by immunohistochemistry. The tubulointerstitial levels of ACE and ACE2 were significantly lower in HTN than CTL, while the glomerular ACE and ACE2 levels were similar between the groups. The tubulointersitial ACE and ACE2 levels significantly correlated with the estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and inversely with the degree of histological damage. The glomerular ACE and ACE2 levels significantly correlated with the rate of GFR decline. The ratio of glomerular ACE and ACE2 level correlated with the estimated GFR and the degree of glomerulosclerosis.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that intrarenal ACE and ACE2 may play an important role in the pathogenesis and progression of HTN. Studies based on the mRNA expression of ACE and ACE2 should be cautiously interpreted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2
  • Biopsy
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gene Expression
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Hypertension / enzymology*
  • Hypertension / genetics*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Male
  • Microdissection
  • Middle Aged
  • Nephrosclerosis / enzymology*
  • Nephrosclerosis / etiology
  • Nephrosclerosis / genetics*
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A / biosynthesis*
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A / genetics*
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A
  • ACE2 protein, human
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2