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      The Protective Role of Smad7 in Diabetic Kidney Disease: Mechanism and Therapeutic Potential

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          Abstract

          OBJECTIVE

          Although Smad3 has been considered as a downstream mediator of transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) signaling in diabetes complications, the role of Smad7 in diabetes remains largely unclear. The current study tests the hypothesis that Smad7 may play a protective role and has therapeutic potential for diabetic kidney disease.

          RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS

          Protective role of Smad7 in diabetic kidney disease was examined in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice that have Smad7 gene knockout (KO) and in diabetic rats given Smad7 gene transfer using an ultrasound-microbubble-mediated technique.

          RESULTS

          We found that mice deficient for Smad7 developed more severe diabetic kidney injury than wild-type mice as evidenced by a significant increase in microalbuminuria, renal fibrosis (collagen I, IV, and fibronectin), and renal inflammation (interleukin-1β [IL-1β], tumor necrosis factor-α [TNF-α], monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 [MCP-1], intracellular adhesion molecule-1 [ICAM-1], and macrophages). Further studies revealed that enhanced renal fibrosis and inflammation in Smad7 KO mice with diabetes were associated with increased activation of both TGF-β/Smad2/3 and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) signaling pathways. To develop a therapeutic potential for diabetic kidney disease, Smad7 gene was transferred into the kidney in diabetic rats by an ultrasound-microbubble-mediated technique. Although overexpression of renal Smad7 had no effect on levels of blood glucose, it significantly attenuated the development of microalbuminuria, TGF-β/Smad3-mediated renal fibrosis such as collagen I and IV and fibronectin accumulation and NF-κB/p65-driven renal inflammation including IL-1β, TNF-α, MCP-1, and ICAM-1 expression and macrophage infiltration in diabetic rats.

          CONCLUSIONS

          Smad7 plays a protective role in diabetic renal injury. Overexpression of Smad7 may represent a novel therapy for the diabetic kidney complication.

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          Most cited references 40

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          The role of inflammatory cytokines in diabetic nephropathy.

          Cytokines act as pleiotropic polypeptides regulating inflammatory and immune responses through actions on cells. They provide important signals in the pathophysiology of a range of diseases, including diabetes mellitus. Chronic low-grade inflammation and activation of the innate immune system are closely involved in the pathogenesis of diabetes and its microvascular complications. Inflammatory cytokines, mainly IL-1, IL-6, and IL-18, as well as TNF-alpha, are involved in the development and progression of diabetic nephropathy. In this context, cytokine genetics is of special interest to combinatorial polymorphisms among cytokine genes, their functional variations, and general susceptibility to diabetic nephropathy. Finally, the recognition of these molecules as significant pathogenic mediators in diabetic nephropathy leaves open the possibility of new potential therapeutic targets.
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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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              Extracellular matrix metabolism in diabetic nephropathy.

              Diabetic nephropathy is characterized by excessive deposition of extracellular matrix proteins in the mesangium and basement membrane of the glomerulus and in the renal tubulointerstitium. This review summarizes the main changes in protein composition of the glomerular mesangium and basement membrane and the evidence that, in the mesangium, these are initiated by changes in glucose metabolism and the formation of advanced glycation end products. Both processes generate reactive oxygen species (ROS). The review includes discussion of how ROS may activate intracellular signaling pathways leading to the activation of redox-sensitive transcription factors. This in turn leads to change in the expression of genes encoding extracellular matrix proteins and the protease systems responsible for their turnover.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Diabetes
                diabetes
                diabetes
                Diabetes
                Diabetes
                American Diabetes Association
                0012-1797
                1939-327X
                February 2011
                21 January 2011
                : 60
                : 2
                : 590-601
                Affiliations
                1Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, and Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
                2Department of Pediatrics, Texas Tech University, Health Science Center at El Paso, El Paso, Texas
                3Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia
                4CLINTEC K53, Karolinska Institutet, Haelsovaegen, Stockholm, Sweden
                Author notes
                Corresponding author: Hui Y. Lan, hylan@ 123456cuhk.edu.hk .
                Article
                0403
                10.2337/db10-0403
                3028360
                20980457
                © 2011 by the American Diabetes Association.

                Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ for details.

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                Categories
                Complications

                Endocrinology & Diabetes

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