Hepatic and proximal tubule angiotensinogen play distinct roles in kidney dysfunction, glomerular and tubular injury, and fibrosis progression

Hee Seong Jang, Mi Ra Noh, Troy Plumb, Kyung Lee, John Cijiang He, Fernando A. Ferrer, Babu J. Padanilam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Components of the renin-angiotensin system, including angiotensinogen (AGT), are critical contributors to chronic kidney disease (CKD) development and progression. However, the specific role of tissue-derived AGTs in CKD has not been fully understood. To define the contribution of liver versus kidney AGT in the CKD development, we performed 5/6 nephrectomy (Nx), an established CKD model, in wild-type (WT), proximal tubule (PT)- or liver-specific AGT knockout (KO) mice. Nx significantly elevated intrarenal AGT expression and elevated blood pressure (BP) in WT mice. The increase of intrarenal AGT protein was completely blocked in liver-specific AGT KO mice with BP reduction, suggesting a crucial role for liver AGT in BP regulation during CKD. Nxinduced glomerular and kidney injury and dysfunction, as well as fibrosis, were all attenuated to a greater extent in liver-specific AGT KO mice compared with PT-specific AGT KO and WT mice. However, the suppression of interstitial fibrosis in PT- and liverspecific AGT KO mouse kidneys was comparable. Our findings demonstrate that liver AGT acts as a critical contributor in driving glomerular and tubular injury, renal dysfunction, and fibrosis progression, whereas the role of PT AGT was limited to interstitial fibrosis progression in chronic renal insufficiency. Our results provide new insights for the development of tissue-targeted reninangiotensin system intervention in the treatment of CKD. New & Noteworthy: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a major unmet medical need with no effective treatment. Current findings demonstrate that hepatic and proximal tubule angiotensinogen have distinct roles in tubular and glomerular injury, fibrogenesis, and renal dysfunction during CKD development. As renin-angiotensin system components, including angiotensinogen, are important targets for treating CKD in the clinic, the results from our study may be applied to developing better tissue-targeted treatment strategies for CKD and other fibroproliferative diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)F435-F446
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2022


  • angiotensinogen
  • chronic kidney disease
  • glomerulosclerosis
  • kidney fibrosis
  • kidney injury


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