Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) is the leading cause of end-stage renal disease. Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) are a network structure composed of loose chromatin and embedded with multiple proteins. Here, we observed increased NETs deposition in the glomeruli of DKD patients and diabetic mice (streptozotocin-induced or db/db mice). After NETs were degraded with DNase I, diabetic mice exhibited attenuated glomerulopathy and glomerular endothelial cells (GECs) injury. We also observed alleviated glomerulopathy and GECs injury in peptidylarginine deiminase 4–knockout mice with streptozotocin-induced diabetes. In vitro, NETs-induced GECs pyroptosis was characterized by pore formation in the cell membrane, dysregulation of multiple genes involved in cell membrane function, and increased expression of pyroptosis-related proteins. Strengthening the GECs surface charge by oleylamine significantly inhibited NETs-induced GECs pyroptosis. These findings suggest that the GECs charge-related pyroptosis is involved in DKD progression, which is promoted by NETs.

This article contains supplementary material online at https://doi.org/10.2337/figshare.21066295.

F.Z., L.M., and X.L. are co-first authors.

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