Epithelial-mesenchymal transformation in diabetic nephropathy: Roles of oxidative stress and KLF transcription factors [ 2006 - 2008 ]

Also known as: Mechanisms of kidney fibrosis in diabetic nephropathy

Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers: Prof Carol Pollock (Principal investigator) ,  A/Pr Xin-Ming Chen Prof Darren Kelly

Brief description Diabetes mellitus is responsible for the majority of kidney disease in the Western world . Diabetic nephropathy now accounts for the single largest cost to the health system in the USA. In Australia diabetic nephropathy, together with glomerulonephritis accounts for over 50% of the cases of dialysis-requiring renal failure. As the incidence of diabetes is increasing, current projections indicate an expotential rise in patient population with kidney disease. As the presence of kidney dysfunction is possibly the greatest predictor of subsequent cardiovascular events (including heart attack, heart failure and stroke) a thorough understanding of the mechanism of progressive kidney failure in patients with diabetes is required so that effective therapeutic strategies may be developed. Preliminary data leading to the development of this proposal, has shown that normal kidney tubule cells 'transform' into fibroblastic-like cells, in a process known as epithelial-mesenchymal transformation (EMT), under the metabolic disturbances inherent in diabetes mellitus. These fibroblast-like cells are likely to be responsible for the progressive scarring in the kidney that is characteristic of irreversible renal failure. We have documented that a specific factor, transforming growth factor beta (TGFB1) is increased in kidney cells in the presence of diabetes mellitus, and our preliminary data suggests the action of TGB1 is regulated by the KLF-family of transcription factors. This project aims to determine whether metabolic conditions such as exposure to high glucose and oxidative stress induced by diabetes mellitus modifies the KLF factors within cells that then alter susceptibility to TGFB1 induced EMT. The specific pathways involved in EMT will be dissected using both cell culture models and animal models of diabetes mellitus. These pathways will be selectively interrupted to assess reversibility of the EMT process.

Funding Amount $AUD 557,523.48

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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