Aims Sulodexide is a promising therapeutic drug for the management of diabetic nephropathy. Although sulodexide has demonstrated a renoprotective effect through its ability to restore glomerular ionic permselectivity, the exact mechanism is still not clear. We investigated the effects of long-term sulodexide treatment on diabetic nephropathy in Otsuka-Long-Evans-Tokushima- Fatty (OLETF) rats. Main methods Diabetic rats were treated with or without sulodexide at 10 mg/kg/day in the drinking water for nine months. Renal morphology and changes in VEGF and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK), urinary levels of albumin (UAE) and urinary VEGF excretion were determined. To define the direct effects of sulodexide, we performed an in vitro experiment using podocytes. Key findings UAE was significantly higher in OLETF rats than in control LETO rats, and the sulodexide group showed significantly decreased UAE after six months of treatment. Interestingly, urinary VEGF levels were also significantly decreased in the sulodexide-treated group. In accordance with UAE and urinary VEGF changes, the renal expression of profibrotic molecules was significantly decreased after sulodexide treatment. In addition, the activation of p38 MAPK, assessed by measuring the level of phospho-specific p38 MAPK, increased in diabetic renal tissues and was markedly suppressed by sulodexide treatment. In cultured podocytes, sulodexide treatment significantly decreased high glucose-induced p38 MAPK activation and VEGF synthesis. Significance Sulodexide directly suppresses VEGF synthesis through the p38 MAPK pathway in podocytes, and these results suggest that sulodexide may provide renoprotection via suppression of renal VEGF synthesis independently of glomerular basement membrane ionic permselectivity in type 2 diabetic rats.
- Diabetic nephropathy
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus
- Vascular endothelial growth factor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)