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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2018 Jan 14;2018:8421979. doi: 10.1155/2018/8421979. eCollection 2018.

Effect of Qufengtongluo Decoction on PI3K/Akt Signaling Pathway in the Kidney of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Rat (GK Rat) with Diabetic Nephropathy.

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Section II of Endocrinology & Nephropathy, Department of Dongzhimen Hospital Affiliated to Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, China.
Nephropathy Department, Hubei Provincial Hospital of TCM, Hubei University of Chinese Medicine, Hebei, China.
Nephropathy Department, Beijing Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine Affiliated to Capital Medical University, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.
Scientific Research Experiment Center, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, China.
Department of Integrative Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western Medicine, Peking University First Hospital, Beijing, China.
Department of Rehabilitation, Beijing Sport University, Beijing, China.


Qufengtongluo (QFTL) decoction is an effective treatment for diabetic nephropathy (DN). However, the underlying molecular mechanism is still unclear. In this study, we try to investigate whether QFTL decoction acts via inhibiting PI3K/Akt signaling pathway. Twenty-four GK rats were randomly divided into 3 groups: blank group, sham-operated group, and QFTL group. After model establishment, rats in QFTL group were given QFTL decoction by gavage, while the rest were given pure water. During the 8-week intervention, 24 hr urinal protein was measured every 2-3 weeks. After intervention, kidneys were removed for pathological smear, quantitative real-time PCR, and western blotting to detect expression levels of p-PI3K, p-Akt, PTEN, TGF-β, PI3K mRNA, Akt mRNA, PTEN mRNA, and TGF-β mRNA. QFTL group showed a slighter degree of renal fibrosis in Masson and PASM staining and a greater reduction of 24 hr urinal protein than blank group. Compared to blank group, expression levels of p-PI3K, p-Akt, PI3K mRNA, and Akt mRNA were lower in QFTL group, while expression levels of PTEN and PTEN mRNA were higher. Besides, TGF-β was downregulated by QFTL decoction. In conclusion, this study suggests that QFTL decoction might inhibit PI3K/Akt signaling pathway via activating PTEN and inhibiting TGF-β.

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