Specific kidney cell could be key in the treatment of kidney failure in diabetes

Oct 05, 2010

Diabetes is the leading reason for kidney failure in the world, resulting in patients requiring dialysis or kidney transplantation. New research has found a cell in the kidney called the podocyte could be the key to understanding why this happens.

The study led by Dr Richard Coward, in the School of Clinical Sciences at the University of Bristol, is published in and funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC).

Diabetes related kidney disease has previously been thought to be mainly due to the high levels of sugar in the blood damaging the small blood vessels in the kidney.

The researchers now have evidence that a cell in the kidney called the podocyte is important in the development of in diabetes. This is not due to the effects of high glucose on this cell but rather a lack of sensitivity to the hormone that is important in also controlling the blood sugar levels called insulin.

Dr Richard Coward, MRC Clinician Scientist and Consultant Senior Lecturer in the Academic Renal Unit based at Southmead Hospital, said: "The number of people diagnosed with diabetes is predicted to increase greatly in the future due to the global epidemic of type-2 diabetes.

"Treatments that improve the sensitivity of this cell to insulin may be of great benefit in treating this major global healthcare problem."

To find out whether insulin signalling in podocytes affects the researchers used mice that genetically had the insulin receptor removed from their podocytes, thereby making only this cell unresponsive to insulin in the body. They found that the mice developed with many similarities to that seen in diabetic patients, except that the mice all had normal .

Explore further: Key to aging immune system is discovered

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Fat-cell hormone linked to kidney disease

Apr 22, 2008

Reduced levels of a hormone produced by fat cells and linked to the development of insulin resistance may also be related to a higher risk of kidney disease, according to a study led by researchers at the University of California, ...

Discovery could lead to much-needed kidney failure treatment

Mar 12, 2008

The unwanted activation of an important cell-signaling pathway may play a role in two kidney problems that are major causes of end-stage renal disease, scientists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University ...

Oral anti diabetic substance discovered

Dec 26, 2007

Research in the Department of Biology at the Faculty of Science and Science Education of the University of Haifa has discovered a substance that may become an oral treatment for diabetes and its complications. The substance, ...

Recommended for you

Key to aging immune system is discovered

1 minute ago

There's a good reason people over 60 are not donor candidates for bone marrow transplantation. The immune system ages and weakens with time, making the elderly prone to life-threatening infection and other ...

Putting a number on pain

22 minutes ago

"How much pain are you in?" It's a harder question than many people think. Tools for assessing patients' pain—be they children or adults—rely on perception: a subjective measure that eludes quantification ...

New infections cause dormant viruses to reactivate

31 minutes ago

The famous slogan is "A diamond is forever," but that phrase might be better suited to herpes: Unlike most viruses, which succumb to the immune system's attack, herpes remains in the body forever, lying in wait, sometimes ...

User comments : 0