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Front Pharmacol. 2018 Sep 11;9:1012. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2018.01012. eCollection 2018.

Protective Effects of Total Glycoside From Rehmannia glutinosa Leaves on Diabetic Nephropathy Rats via Regulating the Metabolic Profiling and Modulating the TGF-β1 and Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling Pathway.

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Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center of Chinese Medicinal Resources Industrialization, State Key Laboratory Cultivation Base for TCM Quality and Efficacy, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, China.


Rehmannia glutinosa Libosch (RG), is officially listed in the Chinese Pharmacopoeia and is widely used in China. The leaves of RG (LR) is an important vegetative organ of the plant. At present, the total glycosides of RG (TLR) were extracted from RG, and developed a national second class of new drugs to the Dihuangye total glycoside capsule (DTG). Additionally, DTG has the effect of nourishing yin and tonifying kidney, promoting blood circulation and blood cooling, and applicable to chronic glomerulonephritis mild to Qi and Yin Deficiency. Moreover, diabetic nephropathy (DN) rats model was induced by intraperitoneal injection of a small dose of streptozotocin (45 mg/kg) and high-fat diet and plus 5% glucose drinking water. Over 15 days, after oral administration TLR and DTG in DN rats, samples from serum, urine and kidney were collected for biochemical indicators measurements, pathological analysis, western blotting and metabolomics. Therefore, the analytical results of biochemical indicators, histopathological observations and western blotting showed that TLR and DTG exhibited a significant effect in renal protection. And 27 endogenous metabolites (12 in serum and 15 in urine) could be tentatively identified in the process of DN in rats using metabolomics method. Those endogenous metabolites were chiefly involved in sphingolipid metabolism; pentose, glucuronate interconversion; terpenoid backbone biosynthesis; purine metabolism and retinol metabolism. After drug intervention, these endogenous metabolites turned back to normal level some extent (P < 0.05). Furthermore, TLR and DTG prevent high glucose-induced glomerular mesangial cells (GMCs) by inhibiting TGF-β1 and Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway, providing a powerful supports to develop a new therapeutic agent for DN. This study paved the way for further exploration of the pathogenesis of DN, early diagnosis and the evaluation of curative effect.


Dihuangye total glycoside capsule; TGF-β1; Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway; diabetic nephropathy; metabolomics; total glycoside extracted from leaves of Rehmannia

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