Studies of diabetic glomerular injury have raised the possibility of developing useful early biomarkers and therapeutic approaches for the treatment of type 2 diabetic nephropathy (T2DN). In this study, we found that FGF13 expression is induced in glomerular endothelial cells (GECs) during T2DN progression. Endothelial-specific deletion of Fgf13 potentially alleviates T2DN damage, while Fgf13 overexpression has the opposite effect. Mechanistically, Fgf13 deficiency results in improved mitochondrial homeostasis and endothelial barrier integrity in T2DN. Moreover, FGF13-sensitive alteration of Parkin safeguards mitochondrial homeostasis in endothelium of T2DN through promotion of mitophagy and inhibition of apoptosis. Additionally, it is confirmed that the beneficial effects of Fgf13 deficiency on T2DN are abolished by endothelial-specific double deletion of Fgf13 and Prkn. The effects of Fgf13 deficiency on mitophagy and apoptosis through Parkin-dependent regulation may be distinct and separable events under diabetic conditions. These data show that the bifunctional role of Fgf13 deficiency in promoting mitophagy and inhibiting apoptosis through Parkin can shape mitochondrial homeostasis regulation in GECs and T2DN progression. As a potential therapeutic target for prevention and control of T2DN, a mechanistic understanding of the biofunction of FGF13 may also be relevant to the pathogenesis of other FGF13- and Parkin-associated diseases.

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J.S. and X.G. contributed equally to this work.

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