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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Prevention of glomerular dysfunction in diabetic rats by treatment with d-alpha-tocopherol.

Because d-alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E) has been shown to decrease diacylglycerol (DAG) levels and prevent the activation of protein kinase C ( PKC), which is associated with retinal and renal dysfunctions in diabetes, the study presented here characterized the effect of d-alpha-tocopherol treatment to prevent glomerular hyperfiltration and increased albuminuria as well as PKC activities in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats. Two weeks after the induction of diabetes, total DAG content and PKC activity in glomeruli were significantly increased in diabetic rats by 106.4 +/- 16.8% and 66.4 +/- 8.4%, respectively, compared with control rats. Intraperitoneal injection of d-alpha-tocopherol (40 mg/kg of body weight) every other day prevented the increases in total DAG content and PKC activity in glomeruli of diabetic rats. Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and filtration fraction (FF) were significantly elevated to 4.98 +/- 0.34 mL/min and 0.36 +/- 0.05, respectively, in diabetic rats, compared with 2.90 +/- 0.14 mL/min and 0.25 +/- 0.02, respectively, in control rats. These hemodynamic abnormalities in diabetic rats were normalized to 2.98 +/- 0.09 mL/min and 0.24 +/- 0.01, respectively, by d-alpha-tocopherol. Albuminuria in 10-wk diabetic rats was significantly increased to 9.1 +/- 2.2 mg/day compared with 1.2 +/- 0.3 mg/day in control rats, whereas d-alpha-tocopherol treatment improved albumin excretion rate to 2.4 +/- 0.6 mg/day in diabetic rats. To clarify the mechanism of d-alpha-tocopherol's effect on DAG- PKC pathway, the activity and protein levels of DAG kinase alpha and gamma, which metabolize DAG to phosphatidic acid, were examined. Treatment with d-alpha-tocopherol increased DAG kinase activity in the glomeruli of both control and diabetic rats, by 22.6 +/- 3.6% and 28.5 +/- 2.3% respectively, although no differences were observed in the basal DAG kinase activity between control and diabetic rats. Because immunoblotting studies did not exhibit any difference in the protein levels of DAG kinase alpha and gamma, the effect of d-alpha-tocopherol is probably modulating the enzyme kinetics of DAG kinase. These findings suggest that the increases in DAG- PKC pathway play an important role for the development of glomerular hyperfiltration and increased albuminuria in diabetes and that d-alpha-tocopherol treatment could be preventing early changes of diabetic renal dysfunctions by normalizing the increases in DAG and PKC levels in glomerular cells.[1]


  1. Prevention of glomerular dysfunction in diabetic rats by treatment with d-alpha-tocopherol. Koya, D., Lee, I.K., Ishii, H., Kanoh, H., King, G.L. J. Am. Soc. Nephrol. (1997) [Pubmed]
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