Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Inducible overexpression of sFlt-1 in podocytes ameliorates glomerulopathy in diabetic mice

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Kathryn White, Professor Rudy Bilous, Emerita Professor Sally Marshall


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


OBJECTIVE: Podocyte-specific, doxycycline (DOX)-inducible overexpression of soluble vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor-1 (sFlt-1) in adult mice was used to investigate the role of the VEGF-A/VEGF receptor (VEGFR) system in diabetic glomerulopathy. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: We studied nondiabetic and diabetic transgenic mice and wild-type controls treated with vehicle (VEH) or DOX for 10 weeks. Glycemia was measured by a glucose-oxidase method and blood pressure by a noninvasive technique. sFlt-1, VEGF-A, VEGFR2, and nephrin protein expression in renal cortex were determined by Western immunoblotting; urine sFlt-1, urine free VEGF-A, and albuminuria by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; glomerular ultrastructure by electron microscopy; and VEGFR1 and VEGFR2 cellular localization with Immunogold techniques. RESULTS: Nondiabetic DOX-treated transgenic mice showed a twofold increase in cortex sFlt-1 expression and a fourfold increase in sFlt-1 urine excretion (P < 0.001). Urine free VEGF-A was decreased by 50%, and cortex VEGF-A expression was upregulated by 30% (P < 0.04). VEGFR2 expression was unchanged, whereas its activation was reduced in DOX-treated transgenic mice (P < 0.02). Albuminuria and glomerular morphology were similar among groups. DOX-treated transgenic diabetic mice showed a 60% increase in 24-h urine sFlt-1 excretion and an approximately 70% decrease in urine free VEGF-A compared with VEH-treated diabetic mice (P < 0.04) and had lower urine albumin excretion at 10 weeks than VEH-treated diabetic (d) mice: d-VEH vs. d-DOX, geometric mean (95% CI), 117.5 (69-199) vs. 43 (26.8-69) mug/24 h (P = 0.003). Diabetes-induced mesangial expansion, glomerular basement membrane thickening, podocyte foot-process fusion, and transforming growth factor-beta1 expression were ameliorated in DOX-treated diabetic animals (P < 0.05). Diabetes-induced VEGF-A and nephrin expression were not affected in DOX-treated mice. CONCLUSIONS: Podocyte-specific sFlt-1 overexpression ameliorates diabetic glomerular injury, implicating VEGF-A in the pathogenesis of this complication.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ku CH, White KE, Dei Cas A, Hayward A, Webster Z, Bilous RW, Marshall SM, Viberti G, Gnudi L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Diabetes

Year: 2008

Volume: 57

Issue: 10

Pages: 2824-2833

ISSN (print): 0012-1797

ISSN (electronic): 1939-327X

Publisher: American Diabetes Association


DOI: 10.2337/db08-0647

Notes: Ku, Ching-Hsin White, Kathryn E Dei Cas, Alessandra Hayward, Anthea Webster, Zoe Bilous, Rudy Marshall, Sally Viberti, Giancarlo Gnudi, Luigi S13745/Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council/United Kingdom Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't United States Diabetes Diabetes. 2008 Oct;57(10):2824-33. Epub 2008 Jul 22.


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Funder referenceFunder name
European Foundation
RD04/0002860Diabetes UK
S13745Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council