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Horm Metab Res. 2015 Aug;47(9):686-92. doi: 10.1055/s-0034-1395609. Epub 2015 Jan 22.

Empagliflozin, an Inhibitor of Sodium-Glucose Cotransporter 2 Exerts Anti-Inflammatory and Antifibrotic Effects on Experimental Diabetic Nephropathy Partly by Suppressing AGEs-Receptor Axis.

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Department of Pathophysiology and Therapeutics of Diabetic Vascular Complications, Kurume University School of Medicine, Kurume, Japan.


Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and receptor RAGE play a role in diabetic nephropathy. We have previously shown that increased glucose uptake into proximal tubular cells via sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) stimulates oxidative stress generation and RAGE expression, thereby exacerbating the AGE-induced apoptosis in this cell type. However, the protective role of SGLT2 inhibition against the AGE-RAGE-induced renal damage in diabetic animals remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the effects of empagliflozin, SGLT2 inhibitor on AGE-RAGE axis, inflammatory and fibrotic reactions, and tubular injury in the kidney of streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.Administration of empagliflozin for 4 weeks significantly improved hyperglycemia and HbA1c, and decreased expression levels of AGEs, RAGE, 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), and F4/80, markers of oxidative stress and macrophages, respectively, in the diabetic kidney. Although empagliflozin did not reduce albuminuria, it significantly decreased urinary excretion levels of 8-OHdG and L-fatty acid binding protein, a marker of tubular injury. Moreover, inflammatory and fibrotic gene expression such as monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, intercellular adhesion molecule-1, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, transforming growth factor-β, and connective tissue growth factor was enhanced in the diabetic kidney, all of which were prevented by empagliflozin. The present study suggests that empagliflozin could inhibit oxidative, inflammatory and fibrotic reactions in the kidney of diabetic rats partly via suppression of the AGE-RAGE axis. Blockade of the increased glucose uptake into renal proximal tubular cells by empagliflozin might be a novel therapeutic target for tubulointerstitial damage in diabetic nephropathy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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