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J Am Soc Nephrol. 2009 May;20(5):1012-9. doi: 10.1681/ASN.2008050555. Epub 2009 Apr 23.

Reactive immunization suppresses advanced glycation and mitigates diabetic nephropathy.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of California, Davis, Medical School, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA.


Agents that inhibit glycation end products by reducing the carbonyl load from glycation and glycoxidation are an emerging pharmacologic approach to treat complications of diabetes. We previously demonstrated that antibodies generated to the glycoprotein keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) can cross-link with reactive carbonyl residues on protein conjugates. Here, we immunized streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats with KLH to assess the capacity of the elicited antibodies to intercept carbonyl residues on glycated proteins and to mitigate glycation-related pathology. Compared with diabetic rats immunized with adjuvant alone, KLH-immunized diabetic rats had decreased levels of glycated peptides in sera and demonstrated a reduction in albuminuria, proteinuria, deposition of glycation end products in the kidney, and histologic damage. In vitro, low molecular weight glycated peptides from rat serum reacted with anti-KLH antibodies at a faster rate than normal IgG and selectively modified the lambda chains. The reaction products contained peptide sequences from type I collagen alpha chain, albumin, and LDL receptor-related protein. These adduction reactions were inhibited by free KLH and by reduction of glycated peptides with borohydride. In summary, these results suggest that inherent reactivity of Ig light chains provides a natural mechanism for the removal of cytotoxic glycation products. This reactivity can be augmented by glycoprotein-specific reactive immunization, a potential biopharmaceutical approach to glycation-related pathology.

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