Background: Evidence is accumulating that statins can reduce proteinuria and disease progression in chronic kidney disease. However, some safety concerns have been recently raised on the use of these agents, mainly due to transient episodes of proteinuria observed in patients receiving high doses of rosuvastatin. Methods: We investigated in rats with renal mass ablation (RMR) whether rosuvastatin (5 or 20 mg/day) worsens proteinuria as compared to untreated RMR animals. Moreover, we also examined whether rosuvastatin-induced changes in proteinuria would be due to the effect of the drug on permselective properties of glomerular capillary barrier, measured by the fractional clearance of graded-size Ficoll molecules and/or by proximal tubular mechanisms, by assessing urinary excretion of β2-microglobulin. Results: RMR rats given rosuvastatin for 28 days showed a progressive increase in proteinuria, with values numerically but not significantly higher than those in RMR animals given the vehicle. In RMR rats, rosuvastatin did not significantly affect the fractional clearance of Ficoll as compared to vehicle-treated RMR animals. A significant correlation was found between urinary protein and β2-microglobulin excretion in rats treated with rosuvastatin (r = 0.936, p <0.001), but not in those given vehicle. Renal function, glomerular and tubulointerstitial injury were comparable in rosuvastatin-treated and untreated RMR rats at the end of the 28-day follow-up. Conclusion: In rats with RMR, rosuvastatin mildly enhances urinary protein excretion rate. This, however, was not the result of further changes in the size-permselective function of glomerular capillary barrier.
- Chronic kidney disease
- Glomerular capillary size-selective properties
- Renal hemodynamics
- Renal mass ablation
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