Author(s): Forbes JM, Thallas V, Thomas MC, Founds HW, Burns WC
Renal accumulation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) has been linked to the progression of diabetic nephropathy. Cleavage of pre-formed AGEs within the kidney by a cross-link breaker, such as ALT-711, may confer renoprotection in diabetes. STZ diabetic rats were randomized into a) no treatment (D); b) treatment with the AGE cross-link breaker, ALT-711, weeks 16-32 (DALT early); and c) ALT-711, weeks 24-32 (DALT late). Treatment with ALT-711 resulted in a significant reduction in diabetes-induced serum and renal AGE peptide fluorescence, associated with decreases in renal carboxymethyllysine and RAGE immunostaining. Cross-linking of tail tendon collagen seen in diabetic groups was attenuated only by 16 weeks of ALT-711 treatment. ALT-711, independent of treatment duration, retarded albumin excretion rate (AER), reduced blood pressure, and renal hypertrophy. It also reduced diabetes-induced increases in gene expression of transforming growth factor beta1 (TGF-beta1), connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), and collagen IV. However, glomerulosclerotic index, tubulointerstitial area, total renal collagen, nitrotyrosine, protein expression of collagen IV, and TGF-beta1 only showed improvement with early ALT treatment alone. This study demonstrates the utility of a cross-link breaker as a treatment for diabetic nephropathy and describes effects not only on renal AGEs but on putative mediators of renal injury, such as prosclerotic cytokines and oxidative stress.