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

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.

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

Research aims to prevent diabetic kidney failure

date Nov 05, 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.

New treatment target for diabetic kidney disease

date 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 ...

Recommended for you

Aspirin to improve leg ulcers

date 11 hours ago

Researchers are looking at whether aspirin can improve the healing rates of leg ulcers in older adults.

Sierra Leone marks grim Ebola anniversary

date 15 hours ago

On May 24 last year a pregnant woman and an older housewife staggered into Kenema hospital in eastern Sierra Leone and were diagnosed within a day as the country's first Ebola cases.

MSF fighting cholera outbreak in Tanzania refugee camps

date May 24, 2015

Medical charity Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF, Doctors Without Borders) said Sunday it had launched emergency treatment centres in Tanzania, where thousands of Burundians fleeing unrest have been hit by cholera.

User comments

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.