Activation of skin renin-angiotensin system in diabetic rats

Endocrine. 2011 Jun;39(3):242-50. doi: 10.1007/s12020-010-9428-z. Epub 2011 Apr 12.


The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) is reportedly involved in chronic diabetic complications such as diabetic nephropathy, but changes of the RAS in diabetic skin remain unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the expression of angiotensin (Ang) II and its type 1 (AT1) and type 2 (AT2) receptors in diabetic skin tissues, and explore the relationship between the local RAS and pathological changes of diabetic skin. Our results showed that thinning of epidermis, degeneration of collagen, fracture of dermal layer, and atrophy/disappearance of subcutaneous fat were observed in diabetic skin. The expression level of AngII was increased in diabetic skin tissues compared to that in controls. mRNA and protein expression of AT1 receptor were also increased while the level of AT2 receptor decreased; the relative expression of AT1 to AT2 receptors was approximately threefold higher in diabetes than in controls. Furthermore, in the culture medium of primary cultured fibroblasts from diabetic skin, the concentration of AngII was significantly higher than that of normal control. The mRNA and protein expression of AT1 receptor was also increased in fibroblasts of diabetic skin compared to controls, while the protein expression of AT2 receptor was decreased. Taken together, our results suggest that the local RAS system is activated in diabetic skin and AngII receptor is likely to mediate the pathological changes of diabetic skin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensin II / genetics
  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Collagen / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / pathology
  • Epidermis / pathology
  • Gene Expression
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1 / analysis
  • Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1 / genetics
  • Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 2 / analysis
  • Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 2 / genetics
  • Renin-Angiotensin System / genetics
  • Renin-Angiotensin System / physiology*
  • Skin / metabolism*
  • Skin / pathology
  • Subcutaneous Fat / pathology


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1
  • Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 2
  • Angiotensin II
  • Collagen