Author(s): BabaeiJadidi R, Karachalias N, Ahmed N, Battah S, Thornalley PJ
Abstract Accumulation of triosephosphates arising from high cytosolic glucose concentrations in hyperglycemia is the trigger for biochemical dysfunction leading to the development of diabetic nephropathy-a common complication of diabetes associated with a high risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality. Here we report that stimulation of the reductive pentosephosphate pathway by high-dose therapy with thiamine and the thiamine monophosphate derivative benfotiamine countered the accumulation of triosephosphates in experimental diabetes and inhibited the development of incipient nephropathy. High-dose thiamine and benfotiamine therapy increased transketolase expression in renal glomeruli, increased the conversion of triosephosphates to ribose-5-phosphate, and strongly inhibited the development of microalbuminuria. This was associated with decreased activation of protein kinase C and decreased protein glycation and oxidative stress-three major pathways of biochemical dysfunction in hyperglycemia. Benfotiamine also inhibited diabetes-induced hyperfiltration. This was achieved without change in elevated plasma glucose concentration and glycated hemoglobin in the diabetic state. High-dose thiamine and benfotiamine therapy is a potential novel strategy for the prevention of clinical diabetic nephropathy.