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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2003 Jan 3;300(1):16-22.

Reversibility of established diabetic glomerulopathy by anti-TGF-beta antibodies in db/db mice.

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Renal-Electrolyte and Hypertension Division, Penn Center for the Molecular Studies of Kidney Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 700 Clinical Research Building, 415 Curie Boulevard, Philadelphia 19104, USA.


Treatment with a neutralizing anti-transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) antibody can prevent the development of diabetic nephropathy in the db/db mouse, a model of type 2 diabetes. However, it is unknown whether anti-TGF-beta therapy can reverse the histological lesions of diabetic glomerulopathy once they are established. Diabetic db/db mice and their non-diabetic db/m littermates were allowed to grow until 16 weeks of age, by which time the db/db mice had developed glomerular basement membrane (GBM) thickening and mesangial matrix expansion. The mice were then treated with an irrelevant control IgG or a panselective, neutralizing anti-TGF-beta antibody for eight more weeks. Compared with control db/m mice, the db/db mice treated with IgG had developed increased GBM width (16.64+/-0.80 nm vs. 21.55+/-0.78 nm, P<0.05) and increased mesangial matrix fraction (4.01+/-0.81% of total glomerular area vs. 9.55+/-1.04%, P<0.05). However, the db/db mice treated with anti-TGF-beta antibody showed amelioration of GBM thickening (18.40+/-0.72 nm, P<0.05 vs. db/db-IgG) and mesangial matrix accumulation (6.32+/-1.79%, P<0.05 vs. db/db-IgG). Our results demonstrate that inhibiting renal TGF-beta activity can partially reverse the GBM thickening and mesangial matrix expansion in this mouse model of type 2 diabetes. Anti-TGF-beta regimens would be useful in the treatment of diabetic nephropathy.

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