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Direct renin inhibition – a promising strategy for renal protection?

Sławomir Lizakowski, Leszek Tylicki, Bolesław Rutkowski

Med Sci Monit 2013; 19:451-457

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.883949

Available online:

Published: 2013-06-12

Activation of the renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system (RAAS) plays a key role in the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD). RAAS inhibitors, such as angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEis) and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), decrease the rate of progression of diabetic and non-diabetic nephropathies and are first-line therapies for CKD. Although these agents are highly effective, current therapeutic strategies are unable to sufficiently suppress the RAAS and stop CKD progression. Aliskiren, the first in a new class of RAAS-inhibiting agents (direct renin inhibitors) has been approved to treat hypertension. Aliskiren exerts renoprotective, cardioprotective, and anti-atherosclerotic effects in animal models that appear to be independent of its blood pressure lowering activity. Early clinical studies using urinary protein excretion as a marker of renal involvement suggest a possibly novel role for aliskiren in treating CKD. This review discusses the antiproteinuric efficacy and safety of aliskiren and considers the evidence for its potential renoprotection.

Keywords: Renin - metabolism, Renal Insufficiency, Chronic - drug therapy, Proteinuria - drug therapy, Kidney - pathology, Fumarates - therapeutic use, Animals, Amides - therapeutic use, Renin-Angiotensin System - drug effects