Kidney international

Polycystin deficiency induces dopamine-reversible alterations in flow-mediated dilatation and vascular nitric oxide release in humans.

PMID 25029430


Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is a renal hereditary disorder associated with increased cardiovascular mortality, due to mutations in polycystin-1 and polycystin-2 genes. Endothelial polycystin-deficient cells have an altered mechanosensitivity to fluid shear stress and subsequent deficit in calcium-induced nitric oxide release, prevented by dopamine receptor stimulation. However, the impact of polycystin deficiency on endothelial function in ADPKD patients is still largely unknown. Here we assessed endothelium-dependent flow-mediated dilatation in 21 normotensive ADPKD patients and 21 healthy control subjects, during sustained (hand skin heating) and transient (postischemic hyperemia) flow stimulation. Flow-mediated dilatation was less marked in ADPKD patients than in controls during heating, but it was similar during postischemic hyperemia. There was no difference in endothelium-independent dilatation in response to glyceryl trinitrate. Local plasma nitrite, an indicator of nitric oxide availability, increased during heating in controls but not in patients. Brachial infusion of dopamine in a subset of ADPKD patients stimulated plasma nitrite increase during heating and improved flow-mediated dilatation. Thus, ADPKD patients display a loss of nitric oxide release and an associated reduction in endothelium-dependent dilatation of conduit arteries during sustained blood flow increase. The correction of these anomalies by dopamine suggests future therapeutic strategies that could reduce the occurrence of cardiovascular events in ADPKD.