High Glucose Impairs Insulin Signaling in the Glomerulus: An In Vitro and Ex Vivo Approach

PLoS ONE - 2016-07-19Katsoulieris EN, Drossopoulou GI, Kotsopoulou ES, Vlahakos V, Lianos EA, Tsilibary EC10.1371/journal.pone.0158873
ObjectiveChronic hyperglycaemia, as seen in type II diabetes, results in both morphological and functional impairments of podocytes in the kidney. We investigated the effects of high glucose (HG) on the insulin signaling pathway, focusing on cell survival and apoptotic markers, in immortalized human glomerular cells (HGEC; podocytes) and isolated glomeruli from healthy rats.Methods and FindingsHGEC and isolated glomeruli were cultured for various time intervals under HG concentrations in the presence or absence of insulin. Our findings indicated that exposure of HGEC to HG led to downregulation of all insulin signaling markers tested (IR, p-IR, IRS-1, p-Akt, p-Fox01,03), as well as to increased sensitivity to apoptosis (as seen by increased PARP cleavage, Casp3 activation and
Deoxyribonucleic Acid

Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA)

a molecule that carries most of the genetic instructions used in the development, functioning and reproduction of all known living organisms and many viruses. DNA (along with RNA) is a nucleic acid; alongside proteins and carbohydrates, nucleic acids compose the three major macromolecules essential for all known forms of life. Most DNA molecules consist of two biopolymer strands coiled around each other to form a double helix. The two DNA strands are known as polynucleotides since they are composed of simpler units called nucleotides.[2] Each nucleotide is composed of a nitrogen-containing nucleobase^aEUR"either cytosine (C), guanine (G), adenine (A), or thymine (T)^aEUR"as well as a monosaccharide sugar called deoxyribose and a phosphate group. The nucleotides are joined to one another in a chain by covalent bonds between the sugar of one nucleotide and the phosphate of the next, resulting in an alternating sugar-phosphate backbone.
fragmentation). Short insulin pulse caused upregulation of insulin signaling markers (IR, p-IR, p-Akt, p-Fox01,03) in a greater extent in normoglycaemic cells compared to hyperglycaemic cells and for the case of p-Akt, in a PI3K-dependent manner. IRS-1 phosphorylation of HG-treated podocytes was negatively regulated, favoring serine versus tyrosine residues. Prolonged insulin treatment caused a significant decrease of IR levels, while alterations in glucose concentrations for various time intervals demonstrated changes of IR, p-IR and p-Akt levels, suggesting that the IR signaling pathway is regulated by glucose levels. Finally, HG exerted similar effects in isolated glomeruli.ConclusionsThese results suggest that HG compromises the insulin signaling pathway in the glomerulus, promoting a proapoptotic environment, with a possible critical step for this malfunction lying at the level of IRS-1 phosphorylation; thus we herein demonstrate glomerular insulin signaling as another target for investigation for the prevention and/ or treatment of diabetic nephropathy.