The angiotensin II receptor type 2 (AT2R) may be a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of hypertension and chronic kidney disease (CKD). The expression and function of AT2R in the vasculature and kidney appear sexually dimorphic. We hypothesised that Agtr2 knockout dams (AT2RKO) with gestational diabetes would program their offspring for subsequent hypertension and CKD in a sex-dependent manner.Age- and sex-matched offspring of non-diabetic and diabetic dams of wild-type (WT) and AT2RKO mice were followed from 4 to 20 weeks of age and were monitored for development of hypertension and nephropathy; a mouse podocyte cell line (mPOD) was also studied.Body weight was progressively lower in female compared with male offspring throughout the lifespan. Female but not male offspring from diabetic AT2RKO dams developed insulin resistance. Compared with the offspring of non-diabetic dams, the progeny of diabetic dams had developed more hypertension and nephropathy (apparent glomerulosclerosis with podocyte loss) at 20 weeks of age; this programming was more pronounced in the offspring of AT2RKO diabetic dams, particularly female AT2RKO progeny. Female AT2RKO offspring had lower basal ACE2 glomerular expression, resulting in podocyte loss. The aberrant ACE2/ACE ratio was far more diminished in glomeruli of female progeny of diabetic AT2RKO dams than in male progeny. Knock-down of Agtr2 in mPODs confirmed the in vivo data.AT2R deficiency accelerated kidney programming in female progeny of diabetic dams, possibly due to loss of protective effects of ACE2 expression in the kidney.
Min-Chun Liao, Yu-Chao Pang, Shiao-Ying Chang, Xin-Ping Zhao, Isabelle Chenier, Julie R Ingelfinger, John S D Chan, Shao-Ling Zhang