Empagliflozin Reduces Renal Hyperfiltration in Response to Uninephrectomy, but Is Not Nephroprotective in UNx/DOCA/Salt Mouse Models.
ABSTRACT: Large-scale clinical outcome studies demonstrated the efficacy of SGLT2 inhibitors in patients with type II diabetes. Besides their therapeutic efficacy in diabetes, significant renoprotection was observed in non-diabetic patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), suggesting the existence of glucose-independent beneficial effects of SGLT2 inhibitors. However, the relevant mechanisms by which SGLT2 inhibition delays the progression of renal injury are still largely unknown and speculative. Previous studies showed that SGLT2 inhibitors reduce diabetic hyperfiltration, which is likely a key element in renoprotection. In line with this hypothesis, this study aimed to investigate the nephroprotective effects of the SGLT2 inhibitor empagliflozin (EMPA) in different mouse models with non-diabetic hyperfiltration and progressing CKD to identify the underlying diabetes-independent cellular mechanisms. Non-diabetic hyperfiltration was induced by unilateral nephrectomy (UNx). Since UNx alone does not result in renal damage, renal disease models with varying degrees of glomerular damage and albuminuria were generated by combining UNx with high NaCl diets ± deoxycorticosterone acetate (DOCA) in different mouse strains with and without genetic predisposition for glomerular injury. Renal parameters (GFR, albuminuria, urine volume) were monitored for 4-6 weeks. Application of EMPA via the drinking water resulted in sufficient EMPA plasma concentration and caused glucosuria, diuresis and in some models renal hypertrophy. EMPA had no effect on GFR in untreated wildtype animals, but significantly reduced hyperfiltration after UNx by 36%. In contrast, EMPA did not reduce UNx induced hyperfiltration in any of our kidney disease models, regardless of their degree of glomerular damage caused by DOCA/salt treatment. Consistent with the lack of reduction in glomerular hyperfiltration, EMPA-treated animals developed albuminuria and renal fibrosis to a similar extent as H2O control animals. Taken together, the data clearly indicate that blockade of SGLT2 has the potential to reduce non-diabetic hyperfiltration in otherwise untreated mice. However, no effects on hyperfiltration or progression of renal injury were observed in hypervolemic kidney disease models, suggesting that high salt intake and extracellular volume might attenuate the protective effects of SGLT2 blockers.
Project description:Many preclinically promising therapies for diabetic kidney disease fail to provide efficacy in humans, reflecting limited quantitative translational understanding between rodent models and human disease. To quantitatively bridge interspecies differences, we adapted a mathematical model of renal function from human to mice, and incorporated adaptive and pathological mechanisms of diabetes and nephrectomy to describe experimentally observed changes in glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and proteinuria in db/db and db/db UNX (uninephrectomy) mouse models. Changing a small number of parameters, the model reproduced interspecies differences in renal function. Accounting for glucose and Na+ reabsorption through sodium glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2), increasing blood glucose and Na+ intake from normal to db/db levels mathematically reproduced glomerular hyperfiltration observed experimentally in db/db mice. This resulted from increased proximal tubule sodium reabsorption, which elevated glomerular capillary hydrostatic pressure (P gc) in order to restore sodium balance through increased GFR. Incorporating adaptive and injurious effects of elevated P gc, we showed that preglomerular arteriole hypertrophy allowed more direct transmission of pressure to the glomerulus with a smaller mean arterial pressure rise; Glomerular hypertrophy allowed a higher GFR for a given P gc; and P gc-driven glomerulosclerosis and nephron loss reduced GFR over time, while further increasing P gc and causing moderate proteinuria, in agreement with experimental data. UNX imposed on diabetes increased P gc further, causing faster GFR decline and extensive proteinuria, also in agreement with experimental data. The model provides a mechanistic explanation for hyperfiltration and proteinuria progression that will facilitate translation of efficacy for novel therapies from mouse models to human.
Project description:Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is a major cause of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) worldwide. Glycemic and blood pressure (BP) control are important but not sufficient to attenuate the incidence and progression of DN. Sodium-glucose cotransporter (SGLT) 2 inhibitors are a new class of glucose-lowering agent suggested to exert renoprotective effects in glucose lowering-dependent and independent fashions. Experimental studies have shown that SGLT2 inhibitors attenuate DN in animal models of both type 1 diabetes (T1D) and type 2 diabetes (T2D), indicating a potential renoprotective effect beyond glucose reduction. Renoprotection by SGLT2 inhibitors has been demonstrated in T2D patients with a high cardiovascular risk in randomized controlled trials (RCTs). These favorable effects of SGLT2 inhibitors are explained by several potential mechanisms, including the attenuation of glomerular hyperfiltration, inflammation and oxidative stress. In this review article, we discuss the renoprotective effects of SGLT2 inhibitors by integrating experimental findings with the available clinical data.
Project description:Healthy kidneys filter ?160 g/day of glucose (?30% of daily energy intake) under euglycaemic conditions. To prevent valuable energy from being lost in the urine, the proximal tubule avidly reabsorbs filtered glucose up to a limit of ?450 g/day. When blood glucose levels increase to the point that the filtered load exceeds this limit, the surplus is excreted in the urine. Thus, the kidney provides a safety valve that can prevent extreme hyperglycaemia as long as glomerular filtration is maintained. Most of the capacity for renal glucose reabsorption is provided by sodium glucose cotransporter (SGLT) 2 in the early proximal tubule. In the absence or with inhibition of SGLT2, the renal reabsorptive capacity for glucose declines to ?80 g/day (the residual capacity of SGLT1), i.e. the safety valve opens at a lower threshold, which makes it relevant to glucose homeostasis from day-to-day. Several SGLT2 inhibitors are now approved glucose lowering agents for individuals with type 2 diabetes and preserved kidney function. By inducing glucosuria, these drugs improve glycaemic control in all stages of type 2 diabetes, while their risk of causing hypoglycaemia is low because they naturally stop working when the filtered glucose load falls below ?80 g/day and they do not otherwise interfere with metabolic counterregulation. Through glucosuria, SGLT2 inhibitors reduce body weight and body fat, and shift substrate utilisation from carbohydrates to lipids and, possibly, ketone bodies. Because SGLT2 reabsorbs sodium along with glucose, SGLT2 blockers are natriuretic and antihypertensive. Also, because they work in the proximal tubule, SGLT2 inhibitors increase delivery of fluid and electrolytes to the macula densa, thereby activating tubuloglomerular feedback and increasing tubular back pressure. This mitigates glomerular hyperfiltration, reduces the kidney's demand for oxygen and lessens albuminuria. For reasons that are less well understood, SGLT2 inhibitors are also uricosuric. These pleiotropic effects of SGLT2 inhibitors are likely to have contributed to the results of the EMPA-REG OUTCOME trial in which the SGLT2 inhibitor, empagliflozin, slowed the progression of chronic kidney disease and reduced major adverse cardiovascular events in high-risk individuals with type 2 diabetes. This review discusses the role of SGLT2 in the physiology and pathophysiology of renal glucose reabsorption and outlines the unexpected logic of inhibiting SGLT2 in the diabetic kidney.
Project description:Cardiovascular and renal complications are the predominant causes of morbidity and mortality amongst patients with diabetes. Development of novel treatments have been hampered by the lack of available animal models recapitulating the human disease. We hypothesized that experimental diabetes in rats combined with a cardiac or renal stressor, would mimic diabetic cardiomyopathy and nephropathy, respectively. Diabetes was surgically induced in male Sprague Dawley rats by 90% pancreatectomy (Px). Isoprenaline (Iso, 1 mg/kg, sc., 10 days) was administered 5 weeks after Px with the aim of inducing cardiomyopathy, and cardiac function and remodeling was assessed by echocardiography 10 weeks after surgery. Left ventricular (LV) fibrosis was quantified by Picro Sirius Red and gene expression analysis. Nephropathy was induced by Px combined with uninephrectomy (Px-UNx). Kidney function was assessed by measurement of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and urine albumin excretion, and kidney injury was evaluated by histopathology and gene expression analysis. Px resulted in stable hyperglycemia, hypoinsulinemia, decreased C-peptide, and increased glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) compared with sham-operated controls. Moreover, Px increased heart and LV weights and dimensions and caused a shift from ?-myosin heavy chain (MHC) to ?-MHC gene expression. Isoprenaline treatment, but not Px, decreased ejection fraction and induced LV fibrosis. There was no apparent interaction between Px and Iso treatment. The superimposition of Px and UNx increased GFR, indicating hyperfiltration. Compared with sham-operated controls, Px-UNx induced albuminuria and increased urine markers of kidney injury, including neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) and podocalyxin, concomitant with upregulated renal gene expression of NGAL and kidney injury molecule 1 (KIM-1). Whereas Px and isoprenaline separately produced clinical endpoints related to diabetic cardiomyopathy, the combination of the two did not accentuate disease development. Conversely, Px in combination with UNx resulted in several clinical hallmarks of diabetic nephropathy indicative of early disease development.
Project description:PURPOSE OF REVIEW:Sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT-2) inhibitors have emerged as a promising drug class for the treatment of diabetic kidney disease. Developed originally as glucose-lowering drugs by enhancing urinary glucose excretion, these drugs also lower many other renal and cardiovascular risk factors such as body weight, blood pressure, albuminuria, and uric acid. Results from the EMPA-REG OUTCOME and CANVAS trials show that these salutary effects translate into a reduction in cardiovascular outcomes and have the potential to delay the progression of kidney function decline. This review summarizes recent studies on the mechanisms and rationale of renoprotective effects. RECENT FINDINGS:Effects of SGLT-2 inhibitors on the kidney are likely explained by multiple pathways. SGLT-2 inhibitors may improve renal oxygenation and intra-renal inflammation thereby slowing the progression of kidney function decline. Additionally, SGLT-2 inhibitors are associated with a reduction in glomerular hyperfiltration, an effect which is mediated through increased natriuresis and tubuloglomerular feedback and independent of glycemic control. Analogous to diabetic kidney disease, various etiologies of non-diabetic kidney disease are also characterized by single nephron hyperfiltration and elevated albuminuria. This offers the opportunity to reposition SGLT-2 inhibitors from diabetic to non-diabetic kidney disease. Clinical trials are currently ongoing to characterize the efficacy and safety of SGLT-2 inhibitors in patients with diabetic and non-diabetic kidney disease. The glucose-independent hemodynamic mechanisms of SGLT-2 inhibitors provide the possibility to extend the use of SGLT-2 inhibitors to non-diabetic kidney disease. Ongoing dedicated trials have the potential to change clinical practice and outlook of high-risk patients with diabetic (and non-diabetic) kidney disease.
Project description:Diabetic nephropathy (DN), the single strongest predictor of mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes, is characterized by initial glomerular hyperfiltration with subsequent progressive renal function loss with or without albuminuria, greatly accelerated with the onset of overt proteinuria. Experimental and clinical studies have convincingly shown that early interventions retard disease progression, while treatment if started late in the disease course seldom modifies the slope of GFR decline. Here we assessed whether the negligible renoprotection afforded by drugs in patients with proteinuric DN could be due to loss of glomerular structural integrity, explored by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). In diabetic patients with early renal disease, glomerular structural integrity was largely preserved. At variance SEM documented that in the late stage of proteinuric DN, glomerular structure was subverted with nearly complete loss of podocytes and lobular transformation of the glomerular basement membrane. In these circumstances one can reasonably imply that any form of treatment, albeit personalized, is unlikely to reach a given cellular or molecular target. These findings should persuade physicians to start the putative renoprotective therapy soon after the diagnosis of diabetes or in an early phase of the disease before structural integrity of the glomerular filter is irreversibly compromised.
Project description:Mitochondrial dysfunction is a pathological mediator of diabetic kidney disease (DKD). Our objective was to test the mitochondrially targeted agent, MitoQ, alone and in combination with first line therapy for DKD. Intervention therapies (i) vehicle (D); (ii) MitoQ (DMitoQ;0.6?mg/kg/day); (iii) Ramipril (DRam;3?mg/kg/day) or (iv) combination (DCoAd) were administered to male diabetic db/db mice for 12 weeks (n?=?11-13/group). Non-diabetic (C) db/m mice were followed concurrently. No therapy altered glycaemic control or body weight. By the study end, both monotherapies improved renal function, decreasing glomerular hyperfiltration and albuminuria. All therapies prevented tubulointerstitial collagen deposition, but glomerular mesangial expansion was unaffected. Renal cortical concentrations of ATP, ADP, AMP, cAMP, creatinine phosphate and ATP:AMP ratio were increased by diabetes and mostly decreased with therapy. A higher creatine phosphate:ATP ratio in diabetic kidney cortices, suggested a decrease in ATP consumption. Diabetes elevated glucose 6-phosphate, fructose 6-phosphate and oxidised (NAD+ and NADP+) and reduced (NADH) nicotinamide dinucleotides, which therapy decreased generally. Diabetes increased mitochondrial oxygen consumption (OCR) at complex II-IV. MitoQ further increased OCR but decreased ATP, suggesting mitochondrial uncoupling as its mechanism of action. MitoQ showed renoprotection equivalent to ramipril but no synergistic benefits of combining these agents were shown.
Project description:SGLT2 inhibitors have emerged as a key disease-modifying therapy to prevent the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD). These agents prevent decline in kidney function through reduction in glomerular hypertension mediated through tubuloglomerular feedback independent of their effect on glycemic control. The proliferation of clinical trials on SGLT2 inhibitors has rapidly expanded the approved clinical indications for these agents beyond patients with diabetes mellitus (DM). We review the current indications for SGLT2 inhibitors in patients with and without diabetic kidney disease, including new evidence for use in patients with heart failure with or without reduced ejection fraction, stage 4 CKD, and chronic glomerulonephritis. The EMPA-KIDNEY trial was recently stopped early for efficacy suggesting that SGLT2 inhibitors may soon be indicated for patients with CKD without albuminuria. We review practical considerations for prescription of SGLT2 inhibitors, including the anticipated acute decline in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) on initiation, initiating the lowest dosage used in clinical trials, volume status considerations, and adverse event mitigation. Combination therapy in patients with DM may be considered with agents, including glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1-RAs), novel mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists, and selective endothelin receptor antagonists to reduce residual albuminuria and cardiovascular risk.
Project description:Vascular growth factors play an important role in maintaining the structure and integrity of the glomerular filtration barrier. In healthy adult glomeruli, the proendothelial survival factors vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) and angiopoietin-1 are constitutively expressed in glomerular podocyte epithelia. We demonstrate that this milieu of vascular growth factors is altered in streptozotocin-induced type 1 diabetic mice, with decreased angiopoietin-1 levels, VEGF-A upregulation, decreased soluble VEGF receptor-1 (VEGFR1), and increased VEGFR2 phosphorylation. This was accompanied by marked albuminuria, nephromegaly, hyperfiltration, glomerular ultrastructural alterations, and aberrant angiogenesis. We subsequently hypothesized that restoration of angiopoietin-1 expression within glomeruli might ameliorate manifestations of early diabetic glomerulopathy. Podocyte-specific inducible repletion of angiopoietin-1 in diabetic mice caused a 70% reduction of albuminuria and prevented diabetes-induced glomerular endothelial cell proliferation; hyperfiltration and renal morphology were unchanged. Furthermore, angiopoietin-1 repletion in diabetic mice increased Tie-2 phosphorylation, elevated soluble VEGFR1, and was paralleled by a decrease in VEGFR2 phosphorylation and increased endothelial nitric oxide synthase Ser(1177) phosphorylation. Diabetes-induced nephrin phosphorylation was also reduced in mice with angiopoietin-1 repletion. In conclusion, targeted angiopoietin-1 therapy shows promise as a renoprotective tool in the early stages of diabetic kidney disease.
Project description:Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is the leading cause of chronic kidney disease. Animal models are essential tools for designing new strategies to prevent DN. C57Bl/6 (B6) mice are widely used for transgenic mouse models, but are relatively resistant to DN. This study aims to identify the most effective method to induce DN in a type 1 (T1D) and a type 2 diabetes (T2D) model in B6 mice. For T1D-induced DN, mice were fed a control diet, and randomised to streptozotocin (STZ) alone, STZ+unilateral nephrectomy (UNx), or vehicle/sham. For T2D-induced DN, mice were fed a western (high fat) diet, and randomised to either STZ alone, STZ+UNx, UNx alone, or vehicle/sham. Mice subjected to a control diet with STZ +UNx developed albuminuria, glomerular lesions, thickening of the glomerular basement membrane, and tubular injury. Mice on control diet and STZ developed only mild renal lesions. Furthermore, kidneys from mice on a western diet were hardly affected by diabetes, UNx or the combination. We conclude that STZ combined with UNx is the most effective model to induce T1D-induced DN in B6 mice. In our hands, combining western diet and STZ treatment with or without UNx did not result in a T2D-induced DN model in B6 mice.