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      Beneficial Effect of TGFβ Antagonism in Treating Diabetic Nephropathy Depends on When Treatment Is Started

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          Background: In diabetic rats with maximal activation of RAS induced by uninephrectomy, late treatment with anti-TGFβ antibody limited renal injury only when combined with ACE inhibitor. We investigated whether in a two-kidney diabetic model the time at which treatment started predicted the response to TGFβ antagonist. Methods: 27 weeks after streptozotocin injection, animals had mild proteinuria and were randomized to receive irrelevant antibody, anti-TGFβ antibody (1D11) or enalapril till 52 weeks (early treatment). The effect of agents alone or combined was also evaluated at the time of overt proteinuria (late treatment, 52–61 weeks). Results: When given early, 1D11 displayed marked antihypertensive and antiproteinuric effects. Glomerulosclerosis was reduced to the extent that a remarkable percentage of glomeruli without sclerosis appeared after treatment. Podocyte number was normalized. Renoprotection of 1D11 was comparable to enalapril. Despite control of blood pressure, in late treatment single agents did not reduce proteinuria significantly. Glomerulosclerosis and podocyte loss were partially limited by 1D11 or enalapril, but full protection was achieved by combination. Conclusions: Renoprotective effect of TGFβ antagonism crucially depends on the time at which treatment started. Effectiveness of early treatment with 1D11 would indicate that TGFβ is a major mediator of damage in early diabetes. To tackle the renal damage in the phase of advanced disease, a combined treatment with ACE inhibitor is needed.

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          Most cited references 35

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          The effect of angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibition on diabetic nephropathy. The Collaborative Study Group.

          Renal function declines progressively in patients who have diabetic nephropathy, and the decline may be slowed by antihypertensive drugs. The purpose of this study was to determine whether captopril has kidney-protecting properties independent of its effect on blood pressure in diabetic nephropathy. We performed a randomized, controlled trial comparing captopril with placebo in patients with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus in whom urinary protein excretion was > or = 500 mg per day and the serum creatinine concentration was or = 1.5 mg per deciliter, creatinine clearance declined at a rate of 23 +/- 25 percent per year in the captopril group and at a rate of 37 +/- 25 percent per year in the placebo group (P = 0.01). Captopril treatment was associated with a 50 percent reduction in the risk of the combined end points of death, dialysis, and transplantation that was independent of the small disparity in blood pressure between the groups. Captopril protects against deterioration in renal function in insulin-dependent diabetic nephropathy and is significantly more effective than blood-pressure control alone.
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            Long-term prevention of renal insufficiency, excess matrix gene expression, and glomerular mesangial matrix expansion by treatment with monoclonal antitransforming growth factor-beta antibody in db/db diabetic mice.

            Emerging evidence suggests that transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) is an important mediator of diabetic nephropathy. We showed previously that short-term treatment with a neutralizing monoclonal anti-TGF-beta antibody (alphaT) in streptozotocin-diabetic mice prevents early changes of renal hypertrophy and increased matrix mRNA. To establish that overactivity of the renal TGF-beta system mediates the functional and structural changes of the more advanced stages of nephropathy, we tested whether chronic administration of alphaT prevents renal insufficiency and glomerulosclerosis in the db/db mouse, a model of type 2 diabetes that develops overt nephropathy. Diabetic db/db mice and nondiabetic db/m littermates were treated intraperitoneally with alphaT or control IgG, 300 microgram three times per week for 8 wk. Treatment with alphaT, but not with IgG, significantly decreased the plasma TGF-beta1 concentration without decreasing the plasma glucose concentration. The IgG-treated db/db mice developed albuminuria, renal insufficiency, and glomerular mesangial matrix expansion associated with increased renal mRNAs encoding alpha1(IV) collagen and fibronectin. On the other hand, treatment with alphaT completely prevented the increase in plasma creatinine concentration, the decrease in urinary creatinine clearance, and the expansion of mesangial matrix in db/db mice. The increase in renal matrix mRNAs was substantially attenuated, but the excretion of urinary albumin factored for creatinine clearance was not significantly affected by alphaT treatment. We conclude that chronic inhibition of the biologic actions of TGF-beta with a neutralizing monoclonal antibody in db/db mice prevents the glomerulosclerosis and renal insufficiency resulting from type 2 diabetes.
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              Expression of transforming growth factor beta is elevated in human and experimental diabetic nephropathy.

              Diabetes is now the most common cause of progressive kidney failure leading to dialysis or transplantation. The central pathological feature of diabetic nephropathy is accumulation of extracellular matrix within the glomeruli. The factors in the diabetic milieu responsible for extracellular matrix accumulation are not understood. Here we report that in glomeruli of rats made diabetic there is a slow, progressive increase in the expression of transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) mRNA and TGF-beta protein. A key action of TGF-beta is induction of extracellular matrix production, and specific matrix proteins known to be induced by TGF-beta were increased in diabetic rat glomeruli. These proteins include an alternatively spliced form of fibronectin, tenascin, and the proteoglycan biglycan. TGF-beta has not previously been implicated in the matrix accumulation that occurs in the diabetic kidney. Glomeruli from humans with diabetic nephropathy also showed a striking increase in immunoreactive TGF-beta protein and deposition of the special form of fibronectin, whereas glomeruli from normal subjects or from individuals with other glomerular diseases (where extracellular matrix accumulation is not a feature) were negative or barely positive. These results implicate TGF-beta in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy.

                Author and article information

                Nephron Exp Nephrol
                Cardiorenal Medicine
                S. Karger AG
                November 2006
                11 August 2006
                : 104
                : 4
                : e158-e168
                aMario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research, Bergamo, Italy; bGenzyme Corporation, Framingham, Mass., USA, and cUnit of Nephrology and Dialysis, Azienda Ospedaliera, Ospedali Riuniti di Bergamo, Bergamo, Italy
                94967 Nephron Exp Nephrol 2006;104:e158–e168
                © 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Figures: 5, Tables: 2, References: 51, Pages: 1
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