Human autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD) produces kidneys which are massively enlarged due to multiple cysts, hypertension, and congenital hepatic fibrosis characterized by dilated bile ducts and portal hypertension. The PCK rat is an orthologous model of human ARPKD with numerous fluid-filled cysts caused by stimulated cellular proliferation in the renal tubules and hepatic bile duct epithelia, with interstitial fibrosis developed in the liver. We previously reported that a peroxisome proliferator activated receptor (PPAR)-γ full agonist ameliorated kidney and liver disease in PCK rats. Telmisartan is an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) used widely as an antihypertensive drug and shows partial PPAR-γ agonist activity. It also has nephroprotective activity in diabetes and renal injury and prevents the effects of drug-induced hepatotoxicity and hepatic fibrosis. In the present study, we determined whether telmisartan ameliorates progression of polycystic kidney and fibrocystic liver disease in PCK rats. Five male and 5 female PCK and normal control (+/+) rats were orally administered 3 mg/kg telmisartan or vehicle every day from 4 to 20 weeks of age. Treatment with telmisartan decreased blood pressure in both PCK and +/+ rats. Blood levels of aspartate amino transferase, alanine amino transferase and urea nitrogen were unaffected by telmisartan treatment. There was no effect on kidney disease progression, but liver weight relative to body weight, liver cystic area, hepatic fibrosis index, expression levels of Ki67 and TGF-β, and the number of Ki67- and TGF-β-positive interstitial cells in the liver were significantly decreased in telmisartan-treated PCK rats. Therefore, telmisartan ameliorates congenital hepatic fibrosis in ARPKD, possibly through the inhibition of signaling cascades responsible for cellular proliferation and interstitial fibrosis in PCK rats. The present results support the potential therapeutic use of ARBs for the treatment of fibrocystic liver disease in ARPKD patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)