Clues to Inflammation and Damage in Diabetic Kidney Disease

Researchers from UC San Diego have uncovered inflammatory players involved in Type 1 diabetes as well as kidney damage caused by obesity. They traced insulin resistance and deficiency to an increase in a fatty acid in the kidney called sphingomyelin. The increase in sphingomyelin, which was found in mice with Type 1 diabetes and those fed a high-fat diet, affects the balance of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) and AMP (adenosine monophosphate-activated protein), molecules which are involved in intracellular energy.  “We believe that sphingomyelin fuels increases in ATP and decreases in AMP that result in inflammation which leads to cell dysfunction, fibrosis and endothelial damage underlying diabetic kidney disease,” said senior author Kumar Sharma, M.D., professor of medicine and director of the UC San Diego School of Medicine Institute of Metabolic Medicine (IMM) and Center for Renal Translational Medicine (CRTM). The scientists believe blocking ATP or reducing sphingomyelin in the kidney could stop inflammation and subsequent kidney damage.

Source: Pivotal Inflammatory Players Revealed in Diabetic Kidney Disease, Medical Xpress, April 8, 2016

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