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Korean J Intern Med. 2019 May;34(3):480-491. doi: 10.3904/kjim.2019.109. Epub 2019 Apr 30.

Adiponectin for the treatment of diabetic nephropathy.

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Division of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei University Wonju College of Medicine, Wonju, Korea.


The metabolic burden caused by hyperglycemia can result in direct and immediate metabolic injuries, such as oxidative stress and tissue inflammation, in the kidney. Furthermore, chronic hyperglycemia can lead to substantial structural changes such as formation of advanced glycation end-products, glomerular and tubular hypertrophy, and tissue fibrosis. Glomerular hypertrophy renders podocytes vulnerable to increased glomerular filtration, leading to podocyte instability and loss. Thus, prevention of glomerular hypertrophy and attenuation of glomerular hyperfiltration may have therapeutic potential for diabetic nephropathy (DN). Adiponectin is an adipokine that improves insulin sensitivity in obesity-related metabolic disorders, including diabetes, but its efficacy is unknown. Moreover, the recently developed adiponectin receptor agonist, AdipoRon, shows therapeutic potential for DN. In this review, we focus on the role of glomerular hypertrophy in the pathogenesis of DN and discuss the role of adiponectin in its prevention.


Adiponectin; Diabetic nephropathies; Hypertrophy; Podocytes

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