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Diabetologia. 2011 Nov;54(11):2953-62. doi: 10.1007/s00125-011-2270-x. Epub 2011 Aug 11.

Deletion of platelet-derived growth factor receptor-β improves diabetic nephropathy in Ca²⁺/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IIα (Thr286Asp) transgenic mice.

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  • 1First Department of Internal Medicine, University of Toyama, 2630 Sugitani, Toyama 930-0194, Japan.



The activation of platelet-derived growth factor receptor-β (PDGFR-β) signalling is increased in the glomeruli and tubules of diabetic animals. In this study, we examined the role of PDGFR-β signalling during the development of diabetic nephropathy.


We recently generated pancreatic beta cell-specific Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IIα (Thr286Asp) transgenic mice (CaMKIIα mice), which show very high plasma glucose levels up to 55.5 mmol/l and exhibit the features of diabetic nephropathy. These mice were crossed with conditional knockout mice in which Pdgfr-β (also known as Pdgfrb) was deleted postnatally. The effect of the deletion of the Pdgfr-β gene on diabetic nephropathy in CaMKIIα mice was evaluated at 10 and 16 weeks of age.


The plasma glucose concentrations and HbA(1c) levels were elevated in the CaMKIIα mice from 4 weeks of age. Variables indicative of diabetic nephropathy, such as an increased urinary albumin/creatinine ratio, kidney weight/body weight ratio and mesangial area/glomerular area ratio, were observed at 16 weeks of age. The postnatal deletion of the Pdgfr-β gene significantly decreased the urinary albumin/creatinine ratio and mesangial area/glomerular area ratio without affecting the plasma glucose concentration. Furthermore, the increased oxidative stress in the kidneys of the CaMKIIα mice as shown by the increased urinary 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) excretion and the increased expression of NAD(P)H oxidase 4 (NOX4), glutathione peroxidase 1 (GPX1) and manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) was decreased by Pdgfr-β gene deletion.


The activation of PDGFR-β signalling contributes to the progress of diabetic nephropathy, with an increase in oxidative stress and mesangial expansion in CaMKIIα mice.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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