Autoimmune drug may help prevent kidney disease caused by diabetes

March 27, 2014

A drug currently used to treat autoimmune disease may also help prevent the kidney-damaging effects of diabetes, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN). The findings suggest that clinical trials should be designed to test the drug in diabetic patients.

Kidney disease is one of the most serious complications of diabetes. Diabetics who develop , or , due to high blood glucose levels may eventually require dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Paolo Fiorina, MD, PhD (Boston Children's Hospital/Harvard Medical School) and his colleagues have discovered that a receptor called B7-1 is expressed by kidney cells during the progression of diabetic nephropathy. Furthermore, targeting this receptor with an available drug called CTLA4-Ig, or abatacept, helped to maintain kidney function in mice with diabetic nephropathy. Abatacept is currently being used to treat autoimmune disease due to its ability to target B7-1 expressed on immune cells.

"The next steps will be to test anti-B7-1 drugs in individuals with diabetes and diabetic nephropathy to see if they can abrogate the progression of the disease in humans as well," said Dr. Fiorina.

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

More information: The article, entitled "Role of Podocyte B7-1 in Diabetic Nephropathy," will appear online at on March 27, 2014.

Related Stories

Vitamin B derivative helps diabetics with mild kidney disease

October 27, 2011

A vitamin B6 derivative may help slow or prevent the progression of mild kidney disease in patients with diabetes, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology (JASN). ...

Recommended for you

Zika virus infection alters human and viral RNA

October 20, 2016

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that Zika virus infection leads to modifications of both viral and human genetic material. These modifications—chemical tags known as ...

Food-poisoning bacteria may be behind Crohn's disease

October 19, 2016

People who retain a particular bacterium in their gut after a bout of food poisoning may be at an increased risk of developing Crohn's disease later in life, according to a new study led by researchers at McMaster University.

Neurodevelopmental model of Zika may provide rapid answers

October 19, 2016

A newly published study from researchers working in collaboration with the Regenerative Bioscience Center at the University of Georgia demonstrates fetal death and brain damage in early chick embryos similar to microcephaly—a ...

Scientists uncover new facets of Zika-related birth defects

October 17, 2016

In a study that could one day help eliminate the tragic birth defects caused by Zika virus, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have elucidated how the virus attacks the brains of newborns, ...


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.