Effects of systemic inhibition of Rho kinase on blood pressure and renal haemodynamics in diabetic rats

R. Komers, T. T. Oyama, D. R. Beard, S. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose The RhoA/Rho associated kinases (ROCK) pathway has been implicated in the pathophysiology of diabetic nephropathy (DN). Early stages of diabetes are associated with renal haemodynamic changes, contributing to later development of DN. However, the role of RhoA/ROCK, known regulators of vascular tone, in this process has not been studied. Experimental Approach Blood pressure (BP), glomerular filtration (GFR), effective renal plasma flow and filtration fraction (FF) in response to the ROCK inhibitors Y27632 (0.1 and 0.5 mg·kg -1) and fasudil (0.3 and 1.5 mg·kg -1) were examined in streptozotocin-diabetic rats and non-diabetic controls. Key Results Diabetic rats demonstrated baseline increases in GFR and FF. In contrast to similar decreases in BP in diabetic and control rats, renal vasodilator effects and a decrease in FF, following ROCK inhibition were observed only in diabetic rats. The vasodilator effects of Y27632 and a further decrease in FF, were also detected in diabetic rats pretreated with the angiotensin antagonist losartan. The effects of ROCK inhibitors in diabetic rats were modulated by prior protein kinase C (PKC)β inhibition with ruboxistaurin, which abolished their effects on FF. Consistent with the renal vasodilator effects, the ROCK inhibitors reduced phosphorylation of myosin light chain in diabetic kidneys. Conclusions and Implications The results indicate greater dependence of renal haemodynamics on RhoA/ROCK and beneficial haemodynamic effects of ROCK inhibitors in diabetes, which were additive to the effects of losartan. In this process, the RhoA/ROCK pathway operated downstream of or interacted with, PKCβ in some segments of the renal vascular tree.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-174
Number of pages12
JournalBritish Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Rho associated kinase
  • RhoA GTPase
  • Y27632
  • diabetic nephropathy
  • effective renal plasma flow
  • fasudil
  • myosin light chain
  • ruboxistaurin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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