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Evidence of augmented intrarenal angiotensinogen associated with glomerular swelling in gestational hypertension and pre-eclampsia: clinical implications

Mistry, Hiten D.; Kurlak, Lesia O.; Gardner, David S.; Torffvit, Ole; Hansen, Alastair; Broughton Pipkin, Fiona; Strevens, Helena


Hiten D. Mistry

Lesia O. Kurlak

Ole Torffvit

Alastair Hansen

Fiona Broughton Pipkin

Helena Strevens


Background-—AGT (angiotensinogen) synthesis occurs in renal proximal tubular epithelial cells, independent from systemic AGT, as a component of the intrarenal renin–angiotensin system. We investigated urinary AGT, as a biomarker for renin–angiotensin system activation, and electrolyte concentrations, in relation to glomerular volume, as a proxy for glomerular endotheliosis in renal biopsy tissue from pregnant normotensive control and hypertensive women.

Methods and Results-—Urine samples were collected from normotensive control (n=10), gestational hypertensive (n=6), and preeclamptic (n=16) women at the time a renal biopsy was obtained. Samples were collected from Lund University Hospital between November 1999 and June 2001. Urinary AGT, potassium, and sodium were measured, normalized to urinary creatinine. Mean glomerular volume was estimated from biopsy sections. AGT protein expression and localization were assessed in renal biopsies by immunohistochemistry. Urinary AGT concentrations were higher in hypertensive pregnancies (median, gestational hypertension: 11.3 ng/mmol [interquartile range: 2.8–13.6]; preeclampsia: 8.4 ng/mmol [interquartile range: 4.2–29.1]; normotensive control: 0.6 ng/mmol [interquartile range: 0.4–0.8]; P [less than] 0.0001) and showed a positive relationship with estimated mean glomerular volume. Urinary potassium strongly correlated with urinary AGT (P [less than] 0.0001). Although numbers were small, AGT protein was found in both glomeruli and proximal tubules in normotensive control but was present only in proximal tubules in women with hypertensive pregnancy.

Conclusions-—This study shows that pregnant women with gestational hypertension or preeclampsia have increased urinary AGT and potassium excretion associated with signs of glomerular swelling. Our data suggest that the kidneys of women with hypertensive pregnancies and endotheliosis have inappropriate intrarenal renin–angiotensin system activation, which may contribute toward the pathogenesis of hypertension and renal injury.


Mistry, H. D., Kurlak, L. O., Gardner, D. S., Torffvit, O., Hansen, A., Broughton Pipkin, F., & Strevens, H. (2019). Evidence of augmented intrarenal angiotensinogen associated with glomerular swelling in gestational hypertension and pre-eclampsia: clinical implications. Journal of the American Heart Association, 8(13), 1-11.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 17, 2019
Online Publication Date Jul 2, 2019
Publication Date Jul 2, 2019
Deposit Date Jun 6, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jun 28, 2019
Journal Journal of the American Heart Association
Electronic ISSN 2047-9980
Publisher Wiley Open Access
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8
Issue 13
Article Number e012611
Pages 1-11
Keywords Kidney; Pregnancy; Hypertension; Urine; Angiotensinogen; Glomerular
Public URL
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