Genotypic abnormalities of the renin-ANG system have been suggested as a risk factor for the development of diabetic nephropathy. Cleavage of angiotensinogen is the rate-limiting step in the activation of the renin-ANG system. The TT genotype of a polymorphism encoding threonine instead of methionine (M235T) has been associated not only with increased plasma angiotensinogen concentration but also with essential hypertension. In addition, a polymorphism in the angiotensinogen gene substituting methionine for threonine (T174M) has been associated with hypertension in nondiabetic populations. We studied the relationship between these polymorphisms in the angiotensinogen gene in IDDM patients with diabetic nephropathy (121 men, 74 women, age 40.9 ± 10 years, diabetes duration 27 ± 8 years). There was no difference in M235T genotype distribution between IDDM patients with diabetic nephropathy and those with normoalbuminuria: 73/97/25 (37/50/13%) vs. 67/95/23 (36/52/12%) had MM/MT/TT genotypes, respectively. No difference in distribution of T174M genotypes between nephropathic and normoalbuminuric IDDM patients was observed either: 148/44/1 (77/23/0.5%) vs. 141/42/2 (76/23/1%) had TT/TM/MM genotypes, respectively. In patients with nephropathy, systolic blood pressure was higher (161 ± 22 mmHg [mean ± SD]) in patients carrying TT genotype of the M235T angiotensinogen polymorphism as compared with patients with MM or MT genotypes (150 ± 23 mmHg; P = 0.03). We conclude that neither the M235T nor the T174M polymorphism in the angiotensinogen gene contributes to genetic susceptibility to diabetic nephropathy in white IDDM patients, whereas the TT genotype of the M235T is associated with elevated blood pressure in patients with diabetic nephropathy.

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