Targeted glomerular angiopoietin-1 therapy for early diabetic kidney disease.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


J Am Soc Nephrol, Volume 25, Issue 1, p.33-42 (2014)


Angiopoietin-1, Angiopoietin-2, Animals, asb, Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental, Diabetic Nephropathies, Humans, Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins, Male, Membrane Proteins, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Inbred CBA, Mice, Mutant Strains, Molecular Targeted Therapy, Podocytes, RNA, Messenger, Signal Transduction, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-1, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-2


Vascular growth factors play an important role in maintaining the structure and integrity of the glomerular filtration barrier. In healthy adult glomeruli, the proendothelial survival factors vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) and angiopoietin-1 are constitutively expressed in glomerular podocyte epithelia. We demonstrate that this milieu of vascular growth factors is altered in streptozotocin-induced type 1 diabetic mice, with decreased angiopoietin-1 levels, VEGF-A upregulation, decreased soluble VEGF receptor-1 (VEGFR1), and increased VEGFR2 phosphorylation. This was accompanied by marked albuminuria, nephromegaly, hyperfiltration, glomerular ultrastructural alterations, and aberrant angiogenesis. We subsequently hypothesized that restoration of angiopoietin-1 expression within glomeruli might ameliorate manifestations of early diabetic glomerulopathy. Podocyte-specific inducible repletion of angiopoietin-1 in diabetic mice caused a 70% reduction of albuminuria and prevented diabetes-induced glomerular endothelial cell proliferation; hyperfiltration and renal morphology were unchanged. Furthermore, angiopoietin-1 repletion in diabetic mice increased Tie-2 phosphorylation, elevated soluble VEGFR1, and was paralleled by a decrease in VEGFR2 phosphorylation and increased endothelial nitric oxide synthase Ser(1177) phosphorylation. Diabetes-induced nephrin phosphorylation was also reduced in mice with angiopoietin-1 repletion. In conclusion, targeted angiopoietin-1 therapy shows promise as a renoprotective tool in the early stages of diabetic kidney disease.