Renin | Open Access Journals

Journal of Nephrology & Therapeutics

ISSN: 2161-0959

Open Access


Renin is a central hormone in the control of blood pressure and various other physiological functions. In spite of the very early discovery of renin over 100 years ago, we have only recently gained a deeper understanding of the origin of renin-producing cells and of the mechanisms responsible for renin synthesis and secretion. The main source of renin is the juxtaglomerular cells (JGCs), which release renin from storage granules. Besides the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) in the JGCs, there exist local RASs in various tissues. JGCs originate in situ within the metanephric kidney from mesenchymal cells that are not related to smooth muscle lineages, as hitherto assumed. The previous notion that JGCs stem from vascular smooth muscle cells may be explained by JGC differentiation: they acquire smooth muscle markers that are maintained throughout adulthood. It has become clear that increasing intracellular free [Ca2+] inhibits renin secretion in JGCs. In contrast, cAMP stimulates renin release. Over the last decade, numerous studies on isolated JGCs and intact animals have provided contradictory results as to whether cGMP has a stimulatory or inhibitory action on renin release. More recent results strongly suggest that the effects of cGMP on renin release from JGCs involve the degradation of cAMP, which is modulated by cGMP. Finally, it has been found that not only is the production of renin modulated by enhancing or attenuating renin transcription, but renin mRNA stability is controlled by various proteins present in renin-producing cells.

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