Commentary - African Journal of Diabetes medicine (2023)

A short note on intermediary metabolism involved in diabetic nephropathy
Department of Pediatrics, University Medical Center, Netherlands

*Corresponding Author:

Rachel Cory, Department of Pediatrics, University Medical Center, Netherlands, Email:

Received: 31-May-2023, Manuscript No. ajdm-23-104703; Editor assigned: 02-Jun-2023, Pre QC No. ajdm-23-104703 (PQ); Reviewed: 16-Jun-2023, QC No. ajdm-23-104703; Revised: 21-Jun-2023, Manuscript No. ajdm-23-104703 (R); Published: 28-Jun-2023, DOI: 10.54931/AJDM-31.3.7.


Diabetic nephropathy, a common complication of diabetes mellitus, is characterized by progressive kidney damage and impaired renal function. The pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy involves complex metabolic alterations within the kidneys. In this article, we explore the intermediary metabolism processes involved in diabetic nephropathy, including glucose metabolism, oxidative stress, lipid metabolism, and the role of Advanced Glycation End-Products (AGEs).

Altered glucose metabolism plays a pivotal role in the development and progression of diabetic nephropathy. Chronic hyperglycemia leads to increased glucose uptake by renal cells, resulting in excessive intracellular glucose flux. This, in turn, triggers multiple metabolic pathways, including increased production of reactive oxygen species, activation of protein kinase C, and increased flux through the polyol pathway. Oxidative stress, characterized by an imbalance between the production of ROS and the antioxidant defense system, plays a significant role in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy. Hyperglycemia-induced mitochondrial dysfunction, increased ROS production, and impaired antioxidant capacity contribute to renal oxidative stress. Elevated ROS levels lead to cellular damage, inflammation, and activation of profibrotic pathways, ultimately promoting renal fibrosis and dysfunction.

Aberrant lipid metabolism is commonly observed in diabetic nephropathy. Chronic hyperglycemia and insulin resistance contribute to increased lipid accumulation within renal cells. Dysregulated lipid metabolism leads to the accumulation of triglycerides, cholesterol, and free fatty acids within the kidney, promoting renal inflammation and oxidative stress. Lipid- derived toxic metabolites, such as ceramides and diacylglycerols, activate intracellular signaling pathways. AGEs, formed through non-enzymatic reactions between reducing sugars and proteins, accumulate in diabetic nephropathy. AGEs induce renal inflammation, oxidative stress, and extracellular matrix deposition. They interact with specific cell surface receptors, such as receptor for AGEs, activating intracellular signaling pathways that contribute to renal injury and fibrosis. AGEs also impair renal autophagy, a process responsible for cellular debris removal, which further exacerbates renal damage.

Understanding the intricate metabolic alterations in diabetic nephropathy opens avenues for therapeutic interventions. Targeting glucose metabolism, oxidative stress, and lipid metabolism may help attenuate renal damage. Strategies include tight glycemic control, antioxidant therapies, modulation of lipid metabolism, and agents targeting AGEs or their receptors. Additionally, lifestyle modifications, such as diet and exercise, play a crucial role in mitigating metabolic abnormalities associated with diabetic nephropathy. Diabetic nephropathy is a complex condition involving intricate metabolic changes within the kidneys. Altered glucose metabolism, oxidative stress, dysregulated lipid metabolism, and the accumulation of AGEs contribute to renal injury and progressive kidney dysfunction.

Understanding these intermediary metabolic pathways provides insights into potential therapeutic targets for the prevention and management of diabetic nephropathy. Future research endeavors aimed at unraveling the precise mechanisms underlying metabolic alterations and exploring novel therapeutic strategies will help mitigate the burden of diabetic nephropathy and improve the outcomes for individuals affected by this debilitating condition.

Emerging evidence suggests that targeting specific metabolic pathways involved in diabetic nephropathy may provide promising therapeutic avenues. For example, interventions aimed at improving mitochondrial function and reducing oxidative stress have shown potential in preclinical studies. Modulating lipid metabolism through lipid-lowering agents and promoting lipid oxidation could also be beneficial in ameliorating renal damage.



Conflict Of Interest

The author has nothing to disclose and also state no conflict of interest in the submission of this manuscript.

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