Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New way to explain the leading cause of kidney failure

Date:
October 6, 2010
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
New research offers a completely new explanation for why people with diabetes account for more than half of all patients requiring dialysis or kidney transplantation. It appears that insulin has a significant influence on the structure and proper function of a particular group of very specialized cells, known as podocytes, that are integral to the kidney's ability to do its job filtering blood.

Evidence reported in the October issue of Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press publication, offers a completely new explanation for why people with diabetes account for more than half of all patients requiring dialysis or kidney transplantation. It appears that insulin has a significant influence on the structure and proper function of a particular group of very specialized cells, known as podocytes, that are integral to the kidney's ability to do its job filtering blood.

Related Articles


"We've found that when you lose insulin signaling in the podocytes, the filter is not maintained," said Richard Coward of the University of Bristol. "Insulin action on the podocyte is really important to kidney function."

In the past, diabetic kidney failure had been considered a result of the toxic effects of high blood-sugar levels on cells of the kidney. That may still be true, Coward said, but the new findings suggest that insulin resistance of podocytes is key. He suggests that general insulin-sensitizing drugs or drugs specifically designed to restore insulin sensitivity to podocytes might offer new treatments for the most common cause of kidney failure in the world.

Podocytes are quite remarkable cells that look a lot like octopuses, Coward explained. "They have a massive cell body with processes extending from them" like the legs of an octopus. Those cells form a lace-like structure that is important to preventing albumin proteins from leaking out of the bloodstream and into the urine. That leakage is used as an early sign of kidney disease, and it generally worsens over time.

The researchers had earlier shown that podocytes are uniquely sensitive to insulin. To find out what influence that insulin sensitivity might have on kidney function in the new study, they generated mice lacking insulin receptors only in their podocytes. Sure enough, those animals began to show protein in their urine along with other features characteristic of diabetic kidney disease. That was despite the fact that the animals weren't diabetic and had normal blood sugar levels.

Further examination found that insulin activity in podocytes causes them to remodel themselves. Coward said that makes sense in that podocytes "are not static cells. They move actively and contract or remodel themselves." He suspects that the cells do this in response to insulin because they need to "brace themselves for an increased work load after a meal."

Coward said there is already some evidence that traditional insulin-sensitizing drugs can help protect against kidney disease in diabetic animals. Insulin sensitizers that specifically target the podocyte might be good treatments for preventing kidney failure, he said, especially given that very sensitive urine tests can now identify a breakdown in the kidneys early.

The researchers include Gavin I. Welsh, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK; Lorna J. Hale, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK; Vera Eremina, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Marie Jeansson, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Yoshiro Maezawa, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Rachel Lennon, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK; Deborah A. Pons, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK; Rachel J. Owen, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK; Simon C. Satchell, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK; Mervyn J. Miles, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK; Christopher J. Caunt, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK; Craig A. McArdle, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK; Hermann Pavenstadt, University Clinics Muenster, Muenster, Germany; Jeremy M. Tavare, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK; Andrew M. Herzenberg, University Health Network and University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada; C. Ronald Kahn, Joslin Diabetes Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; Peter W. Mathieson, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK; Susan E. Quaggin, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Moin A. Saleem, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK; and Richard J.M. Coward, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Gavin I. Welsh, Lorna J. Hale, Vera Eremina, Marie Jeansson, Yoshiro Maezawa, Rachel Lennon, Deborah A. Pons, Rachel J. Owen, Simon C. Satchell, Mervyn J. Miles, Christopher J. Caunt, Craig A. McArdle, Hermann Pavenstδdt, Jeremy M. Tavarι, Andrew M. Herzenberg, C. Ronald Kahn, Peter W. Mathieson, Susan E. Quaggin, Moin A. Saleem, Richard J.M. Coward. Insulin Signaling to the Glomerular Podocyte Is Critical for Normal Kidney Function. Cell Metabolism, Volume 12, Issue 4, 329-340, 6 October 2010 DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2010.08.015

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "New way to explain the leading cause of kidney failure." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101005121707.htm>.
Cell Press. (2010, October 6). New way to explain the leading cause of kidney failure. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101005121707.htm
Cell Press. "New way to explain the leading cause of kidney failure." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101005121707.htm (accessed November 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Buffalo Residents Digging Out, Helping out

Raw: Buffalo Residents Digging Out, Helping out

AP (Nov. 22, 2014) — Hundreds of volunteers joined a 'shovel brigade' in Buffalo, New York on Saturday, as the city was living up to its nickname, "The City of Good Neighbors." Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) — Toyota presented its hydrogen fuel-cell compact car called "Mirai" to US consumers at the Los Angeles auto show. The car should go on sale in 2015 for around $60.000. It combines stored hydrogen with oxygen to generate its own power. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — In a blog post, Google said its balloons have traveled 3 million kilometers since the start of Project Loon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
5 Hot Months, 1 Warm Year And All The Arguments To Follow

5 Hot Months, 1 Warm Year And All The Arguments To Follow

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — The NOAA released statistics Thursday showing October was the fifth month this year with record temps and 2014 will likely be the hottest on record. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins