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PeerJ. 2016 Apr 11;4:e1888. doi: 10.7717/peerj.1888. eCollection 2016.

Autophagy downregulation contributes to insulin resistance mediated injury in insulin receptor knockout podocytes in vitro.

Author information

1
Department of Nephrology, Shandong Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong, China.
2
School of Medicine, Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong, China.
3
Central Lab, Shandong Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong, China.
4
School of Public Health, Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong, China.
5
Department of Nutrition, Shandong Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Shandong Hospital, Jinan, Shandong, China.
6
Department of Nephrology, Qianfoshan Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong, China.
#
Contributed equally

Abstract

It is unknown whether autophagy activity is altered in insulin resistant podocytes and whether autophagy could be a therapeutic target for diabetic nephropathy (DN). Here we used shRNA transfection to knockdown the insulin receptor (IR) gene in cultured human immortalized podocytes as an in vitro insulin resistant model. Autophagy related proteins LC3, Beclin, and p62 as well as nephrin, a podocyte injury marker, were assessed using western blot and immunofluorescence staining. Our results show that autophagy is suppressed when podocytes lose insulin sensitivity and that treatment of rapamycin, an mTOR specific inhibitor, could attenuate insulin resistance induced podocytes injury via autophagy activation. The present study deepens our understanding of the role of autophagy in the pathogenesis of DN.

KEYWORDS:

Autophagy; Diabetic nephropathy; Insulin resistance; Rapamycin

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