The incidence and progression of kidney diseases are influenced by sex. The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) is an important regulator of cardiovascular and renal function. Sex differences in the renal response to RAS blockade have been demonstrated. Circulating and renal RAS has been shown to be altered in type 1 and type 2 diabetes; this enzymatic cascade plays a critical role in the development of diabetic nephropathy (DN). Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) and ACE2 are differentially regulated depending on its localization within the diabetic kidney. Furthermore, clinical and experimental studies have shown that circulating levels of sex hormones are clearly modulated in the context of diabetes, suggesting that sex-dependent RAS regulation may also be affected in these individuals. The effect of sex hormones on circulating and renal RAS may be involved in the sex differences observed in DN progression. In this paper we will review the influence of sex hormones on RAS expression and its relation to diabetic kidney disease. A better understanding of the sex dimorphism on RAS might provide a new approach for diabetic kidney disease treatment.
- angiotensin-converting enzyme 2
- angiotensin-converting enzyme
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