Recent studies suggest that there is an association between the A1166-->C polymorphism of the angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AGT1R), glycemic control, and the risk of diabetic nephropathy in subjects with type 1 diabetes. Because hypertension and renal hemodynamic function are also related to the risk of diabetic nephropathy and because hyperglycemia can activate the renin angiotensin system, we sought to determine if there is an association between the AGT1R polymorphism, baseline renal and peripheral hemodynamic function, and pressor response to high glucose in subjects with early uncomplicated type 1 diabetes. There were 39 diabetic subjects genotyped for the AGT1R polymorphism by polymerase chain reaction and segregated into 2 groups: those with and those without the C1166 allele (AA and AC/CC). The average age was 27 +/- 1 years, and the mean duration of diabetes was 3.5 +/- 0.6 years. HbA(1c) values were <10% in all subjects and were similar in the 2 groups (8.2 +/- 0.3 vs. 9.1 +/- 0.4%). After a 7-day controlled diet (150 mmol sodium, 1.5-2.0 g x kg(-1) x day(-1) protein), renal hemodynamic function was assessed by inulin and para-aminohippurate clearance during clamped euglycemic conditions (4-6 mmol/l). Mean values for glomerular filtration rates did not differ between groups during euglycemia. In contrast, mean values for renal plasma flow and renal blood flow were significantly greater in the AC/CC group compared with the AA group. Values for mean arterial pressure were similar in the 2 groups, whereas renal vascular resistance was significantly reduced in the AC/CC group. In 20 subjects (10 from each genotype subgroup), hemodynamic function was assessed on a second occasion during controlled clamped hyperglycemia (9-11 mmol/l) after a similar preparatory period. In response to high glucose, plasma renin activity increased in both genotype groups to the same extent, but a pressor response was noted only in subjects with the C1166 allele. Mean arterial pressure increased significantly in the AC/CC subgroup and remained unchanged in the AA subgroup. We conclude that there is an association between the AGT1R A1166-->C polymorphism and renal hemodynamic function in early type 1 diabetes. But more importantly, the pressor response to hyperglycemia is augmented in those diabetic patients with the C1166 allele and may represent a factor that predisposes them to renal injury during periods of inadequate glucose control.

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