New target for treating diabetic kidney disease, the leading cause of kidney failure

October 18, 2012

Researchers have discovered a new therapeutic target for diabetic nephropathy, the leading cause of kidney failure. The findings, appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN), could help protect the kidney health of individuals with diabetes.

While it's unclear precisely how diabetic nephropathy—kidney disease or damage that occurs in people with diabetes—develops, inflammation is likely involved. One particular inflammatory molecule, osteopontin, seems to play a prominent role, making it a potential target for future therapies.

In an attempt to inhibit osteopontin expression, Daisuke Ogawa, MD, PhD (Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, in Japan) and his colleagues tried activating a receptor that blocks the expression of genes involved in inflammation. This receptor, liver x receptor (LXR), can be activated with a drug named T0901317.

When with were given T0901317, the animals' kidneys became healthier and functioned better. Also, the T0901317 treatment markedly decreased the expression of osteoponin and other inflammatory molecules in the kidneys. Laboratory experiments with revealed that high sugar concentrations—like those seen in the blood of diabetics—increased osteopontin expression, which could be inhibited with T0901317.

"These observations support an important role for LXR agonists in suppressing the inflammatory responses in diabetic kidneys and preventing the development of nephropathy," said Dr. Ogawa.

Explore further: New findings contribute to understanding of diabetic kidney disease

More information: The article, entitled "Activation of Liver X Receptor Inhibits Osteopontin and Ameliorates Diabetic Nephropathy," will appear online on October 18, 2012, doi: 10.1681/ASN.2012010022

Related Stories

New treatment target for diabetic kidney disease

May 27, 2011

(Medical Xpress) -- UC Davis investigators have shown that blocking a specific receptor pathway could slow or even prevent diabetic nephropathy — an often fatal complication of diabetes for which there are few good treatment ...

Research aims to prevent diabetic kidney failure

November 5, 2011

The enzyme arginase-2 plays a major role in kidney failure, and blocking the action of this enzyme might lead to protection against renal disease in diabetes, according to researchers.

Recommended for you

Monkeys in Asia harbor virus from humans, other species

November 19, 2015

When it comes to spreading viruses, bats are thought to be among the worst. Now a new study of nearly 900 nonhuman primates in Bangladesh and Cambodia shows that macaques harbor more diverse astroviruses, which can cause ...

One-step test for hepatitis C virus infection developed

November 14, 2015

UC Irvine Health researchers have developed a cost-effective one-step test that screens, detects and confirms hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections. Dr. Ke-Qin Hu, director of hepatology services, will present findings at the ...

Computer model reveals deadly route of Ebola outbreak

November 10, 2015

Using a novel statistical model, a research team led by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health mapped the spread of the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, providing the most detailed picture to date ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.