Objective: Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is one of the most devastating complications of diabetes mellitus. Carbohydrate response element binding protein (ChREBP) is a basic helix-loop-helix leucine zipper transcription factor that primarily mediates glucose homeostasis in the body. The present study investigated the role of ChREBP in the pathogenesis of DN.

Materials and Methods: The expression of ChREBP was detected in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), diabetic mice and mesangial cells. ELISA was used to measure cytokine production in mesangial cells. Flow cytometry analysis was performed to detect the apoptosis of mesangial cells in the presence of high glucose.

Results: The ChREBP and several cytokines (TNFα, IL-1β, and IL-6) were up-regulated in T2DM patients (P<0.05). The mRNA and protein levels of ChREBP were significantly elevated in the kidneys of diabetic mice. Moreover, glucose treatment promoted mRNA levels of TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6 in mesangial cells. Glucose stimulation induced significant apoptosis of SV40 MES 13 cells. In addition, transfection with ChREBP siRNA significantly inhibited ChREBP expression. Consequently, the inflammatory responses and apoptosis were inhibited in SV40 MES 13 cells.

Conclusions: These results demonstrated that ChREBP could mediate the inflammatory response and apoptosis of mesangial cells, suggesting that ChREBP may be involved in the pathogenesis of DN.


Y. Chen: None. S. Zhao: None. Y. Wang: None.

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