How to Prevent Kidney Failure in Diabetic Patients

New strategy helps slow kidney disease progression that can occur in diabetes.

Researchers developed a new approach that may help stop the progression of kidney disease in individuals with diabetes, a condition that affects about one-third of diabetic patients.

Current therapies for diabetes are not efficient preventing the progression of diabetic nephropathy to kidney failure, but in a new study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN), researchers evaluated a new strategy.

This approach involves targeting the cellular pathway called JAK/STAT, which is chronically activated in diabetes, and mediates the damaging effects of high blood sugar on kidney cells.

Researchers decided to develop a compound that mimics the protein Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling 1 (SOCS1), which helps regulate the JAK/STAT pathway. The results of the study showed that the compound could enter the cells and inhibit the deleterious effects of high blood sugar on kidney cells. It also slowed the progression of kidney disease in diabetic mice.

Furthermore, this approach was able to protect the kidneys during the early and advanced stages of diabetes, improve kidney function, and reduce the expression of genes associated with kidney inflammation and scarring.

The authors noted that the effects occurred independently of blood glucose levels.

“Our goal is to develop the compound as a novel approach to combat chronic complications of diabetes,” said researcher Carmen Gomez-Guerrero, PhD. “We plan to initiate preclinical development to support early phase clinical trials.”