Urinary renin-angiotensin markers in polycystic kidney disease

Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2017 Oct 1;313(4):F874-F881. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00209.2017. Epub 2017 Jul 26.


In autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), activation of the renin-angiotensin aldosterone system (RAAS) may contribute to hypertension and disease progression. Although previous studies have focused on circulating RAAS components, preliminary evidence suggests that APDKD may increase urinary RAAS components. Therefore, our aim was to analyze circulating and urinary RAAS components in ADPKD. We cross-sectionally compared 60 patients with ADPKD with 57 patients with non-ADPKD chronic kidney disease (CKD). The two groups were matched by sex, estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), blood pressure, and RAAS inhibitor use. Despite similar plasma levels of angiotensinogen and renin, urinary angiotensinogen and renin excretion were five- to sixfold higher in ADPKD (P < 0.001). These differences persisted when adjusting for group differences and were present regardless of RAAS inhibitor use. In multivariable analyses, ADPKD, albuminuria, and the respective plasma concentrations were independent predictors for urinary angiotensinogen and renin excretion. In ADPKD, both plasma and urinary renin correlated negatively with eGFR. Total kidney volume correlated with plasma renin and albuminuria but not with urinary renin or angiotensinogen excretions. Albuminuria correlated positively with urinary angiotensinogen and renin excretions in ADPKD and CKD. In three ADPKD patients who underwent nephrectomy, the concentrations of albumin and angiotensinogen were highest in plasma, followed by cyst fluid and urine; urinary renin concentrations were higher than cyst fluid. In conclusion, this study shows that, despite similar circulating RAAS component levels, higher urinary excretions of angiotensinogen and renin are a unique feature of ADPKD. Future studies should address the underlying mechanism and whether this may contribute to hypertension or disease progression in ADPKD.

Keywords: aldosterone; angiotensinogen; chronic kidney disease; hypertension; intrarenal renin-angiotensin system.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Angiotensinogen / urine*
  • Biomarkers / urine
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Humans
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organ Size
  • Polycystic Kidney, Autosomal Dominant / pathology
  • Polycystic Kidney, Autosomal Dominant / urine*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / pathology
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / urine*
  • Renin / urine*
  • Renin-Angiotensin System*


  • Biomarkers
  • Angiotensinogen
  • Renin