Hypertension in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) strongly associates with cardiovascular events. Among patients with CKD, reducing the accumulation of uremic toxins may protect against the development of hypertension and progression of renal damage, but there are no established therapies to accomplish this. Here, overexpression of human kidney-specific organic anion transporter SLCO4C1 in rat kidney reduced hypertension, cardiomegaly, and inflammation in the setting of renal failure. In addition, SLCO4C1 overexpression decreased plasma levels of the uremic toxins guanidino succinate, asymmetric dimethylarginine, and the newly identified trans-aconitate. We found that xenobiotic responsive element core motifs regulate SLCO4C1 transcription, and various statins, which act as inducers of nuclear aryl hydrocarbon receptors, upregulate SLCO4C1 transcription. Pravastatin, which is cardioprotective, increased the clearance of asymmetric dimethylarginine and trans-aconitate in renal failure. These data suggest that drugs that upregulate SLCO4C1 may have therapeutic potential for patients with CKD.
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