Understanding mechanisms that contribute to the regression of glomerulosclerosis is important for developing new strategies to treat chronic kidney disease. We reported that transient high-dose treatment with an angiotensin receptor blocker causes regression of renal arteriolar hypertrophy and hypertension in spontaneously hypertensive rats. To extend those findings to another form of kidney disease, we examined the short-and long-term effects of transient high-dose angiotensin receptor blocker treatment in a mouse model of adriamycin-induced glomerulosclerosis. A 2-week course of candesartan caused a dose-dependent regression of established glomerulosclerotic lesions sustained for over 6 months following cessation of treatment. Highly sensitive in situ zymography and activity assays showed that glomerular matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 activity was increased after high-dose angiotensin blocker therapy. Treatment of cultured podocytes with candesartan resulted in an increase in MMP-2 activity. The regression of glomerulosclerosis was partially attenuated in mice pretreated with the MMP inhibitor doxycycline, as well as in MMP-2 knockout mice. Our results suggest that transient high-dose angiotensin receptor blocker treatment effectively induced sustained regression of glomerulosclerosis by a mechanism mediated, in part, by changes in MMP-2 activity.
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