Aims: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of diabetes mellitus. We determined whether alterations of plasma and urinary VEGF levels are related to diabetic nephropathy in Type 2 diabetic patients. Methods: One hundred and seven patients and 47 healthy controls were studied. Study subjects were divided into four groups using urinary albuminto-creatinine ratio (ACR): a non-diabetic healthy control group (n = 47), a normoalbuminuric diabetic group (n = 37), a microalbuminuric diabetic group (n = 37) and an overt proteinuric diabetic group (n = 33). VEGF levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results: (i) Urinary VEGF concentrations were significantly higher in the diabetic groups, even at the normoalbuminuric stage (log VEGF/Cr, normoalbuminuria; 4.33 ± 1.06 vs. control; 3.53 ± 0.79, P = 0.009). Urinary VEGF excretions increased as diabetic nephropathy advanced, (ii) Plasma and urinary VEGF levels were higher in hypertensive diabetic patients than in the normotensive individuals with diabetes, (iii) In those with diabetes, plasma VEGF levels were found to be positively correlated with plasma urea (r = 0.398, P = 0.039) and urinary ACR (r = 0.251, P = 0.044), and urinary VEGF to be positively correlated with urinary ACR (r = 0.645, P < 0.001), and creatinine (r = 0.336, P = 0.009), and to be negatively correlated with serum albumin (r = -0.557, P < 0.001). Urinary VEGF and serum creatinine were independently correlated with urinary ACR. Conclusions: Urinary excretion of VEGF increased during the earlier stage of diabetic nephropathy and was significantly correlated with urinary albumin excretion. This suggests that urinary VEGF might be used as a sensitive marker of diabetic nephropathy and for predicting disease progression.
- Diabetes mellitus nephropathy
- Vascular endothelial growth factor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism