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Growth Factors. 2013 Dec;31(6):199-208. doi: 10.3109/08977194.2013.852189. Epub 2013 Nov 5.

Protective effect of statin therapy on connective tissue growth factor induction by diabetes in vivo and high glucose in vitro.

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  • 1Molecular Medicine, Institute of Translational & Stratified Medicine, Plymouth University Schools of Medicine & Dentistry , United Kingdom.


Transcriptional activity of connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) promoter in transfected HEK293 cells was determined by luciferase assays. Secreted CTGF in cultured human mesangial cells was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). CTGF in urine and plasma was also measured in 405 subjects with/without type 2 diabetes. Our results showed that high glucose significantly increased transcription of the promoter in the transfected cells by more than 2.5-folds (p < 0.0005). CTGF secretion was induced by high glucose in the cells (p < 0.0005). These increases were inhibited by simvastatin. Urine CTGF was positively associated with plasma CTGF in both type 2 diabetes (p = 0.0005) and controls (p = 0.01). Urine CTGF levels in patients with macroalbuminuria were significantly higher than patients without macroalbuminuria (p < 0.05). In conclusion, our in vitro study suggests that statin may have a renal-protective effect through the inhibition of CTGF expression. Urine CTGF may be a good marker for the prediction of diabetic nephropathy.

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