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Life Sci. 2010 Jul 31;87(5-6):147-53. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2010.06.004. Epub 2010 Jun 18.

The combination of sirolimus and rosiglitazone produces a renoprotective effect on diabetic kidney disease in rats.

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  • 1Departament de Ciències Fisiològiques II, IDIBELL, University of Barcelona, Bellvitge Hospital, Spain.



Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPAR-gamma) agonists and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors share mechanisms concerning cell growth and reduction of extracellular matrix accumulation. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the potential synergistic effect of this combination on diabetic kidney disease in rats.


Diabetes was induced by streptozotocin in 42 male Sprague-Dawley rats. Sixteen weeks after diabetes induction, animals were divided into four groups: diabetic animals without intervention (D), diabetic animals with administration of sirolimus (D+SRL), diabetic animals with administration of rosiglitazone (D+RGT), and diabetic animals with administration of sirolimus and rosiglitazone (D+SRL+RGT).


At a 30-day follow up, diabetic rats showed higher kidney weight, mean glomerular volume, mesangial expansion and albuminuria compared with non-diabetic rats. mTOR downstream proteins, p-T389-S6K and p-T37/46-4EBP1, were higher in diabetic than non-diabetic kidneys, whereas p-S473-AKT was not, suggesting that hyperglycemia mainly activated the mTORC1 pathway in vivo. Moreover, the catalytic subunit of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2Ac) was down-regulated in the diabetic kidney. Sirolimus inhibited the mTORC1 pathway, while the PPAR-gamma agonist rosiglitazone enhanced PP2Ac and reduced p70S6K. Both drugs were associated with a reduction in albuminuria, renal enlargement and mesangial expansion, but without any improvement in glycemic control. Sirolimus and rosiglitazone in combination down-regulated the mTORC1 pathway and over-activated PP2Ac in diabetic kidney. This effect may account for the synergistic reduction of renal hypertrophy, albuminuria and renal TGF-beta1 observed in diabetic rats treated with SRL+RGT.


The combination of sirolimus and rosiglitazone is renoprotective with respect to diabetic nephropathy.

Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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