Islet transplantation promotes podocyte regeneration in a model of diabetic nephropathy


Abstract: Background/aim: The purpose of this study was to observe whether islet transplantation could induce glomerular parietal epithelial cells to express podocyte proteins in a rat model of streptozotocin-induced diabetic nephropathy (DN).Materials and methods: A total of 18 rats were given single injections of streptozotocin to induce a DN model. Eight weeks after the modeling, successfully established DN rats were divided into three groups: an untreated group (DN group), an islet-transplanted group (IT group), and an insulin group (IN group). The islets cells were isolated from donor rats and surgically transplanted from under the kidney capsule in the IT group. Four weeks after treatment, pathological changes in the kidney were observed by pathological staining and electron microscopy. Immunohistochemical staining for PAX-2, Ki-67, and synaptopodin was performed to evaluate cell proliferation in the kidney tissues.Results: After 4 weeks of treatment, islet transplantation significantly alleviated damage to the podocytes and increased the number of glomerular transition cells compared to the DN and IN groups, which were defined as cells that double-stained for PAX-2 and synaptopodin in membranous nephropathy. The results of HE staining, PAS staining, and electron microscopy detection also showed that pathological changes were alleviated after islet transplantation.Conclusion: IT restored the glomerular filtration barrier based on the regeneration of podocytes in the DN model rats, and this may provide a promising clinical therapeutic strategy for human diabetes mellitus.

Keywords: Diabetic nephropathy, islet transplantation, glomerular parietal epithelial cell, podocytes

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