C-peptide replacement improves weight gain and renal function in diabetic rats

L Rebsomen, S Pitel, F Boubred, C Buffat, J M Feuerstein, D Raccah, P Vague, M Tsimaratos
Diabetes & Metabolism 2006, 32 (3): 223-8

AIM: Recent experimental and clinical data suggest that C-peptide replacement during type 1 diabetes exerts beneficial effects on diabetic nephropathy. The aim of this study was to determine if physiological C-peptide administration in replacement dose during 28 days had beneficial effects on metabolic status and renal functions in type-1 diabetic rats.

METHODS: Four groups of rats were investigated: a non diabetic group treated with buffer (C group, n=6), three streptozotocin diabetic-induced groups treated with either buffer (D group, n=6), insulin (D-I group, n=6) or rat homologous C-peptide (D-C group, n=6). Weight gain was measured every week. All animals were housed in metabolic cages on day 28 for assessment of metabolic data. Blood and urine samples were collected to allow measurement of plasmatic osmolality, C-peptide concentration, sodium, and glucose losses and proteinuria. Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) was determined by creatinine clearance.

RESULTS: All streptozotocin-treated animals were diabetic. Glycaemic control (mg/dl), was markedly improved in D-I (133+/-65) when compared with either D (547+/-49, P<0.05) or D-C (520+/-48, P<0.05) groups. Conversely, weight gain during the study, was improved in D-I and D-C as compared with D animals (135+/-13 and 41+/-18 vs 18+/-21 respectively), despite different glycaemic control. Diabetes-induced glomerular hyperfiltration (ml/min/kg), urinary protein leakage (g/kg/day), and Na urinary losses (mmol/100 g/day) respectively, were significantly (P<0.05) reduced in D-C (3.95+/-0.6; 0.08+/-0.06; 1.5+/-0.9) in comparison with D (4.95+/-0.8; 0.18+/-0.16; 3.7+/-2.1) and D-I (5+/-0.9; 0.19+/-0.11; 2.7+/-0.8) animals. Plasmatic osmolality was significantly increased in D group whereas there were no differences between C group and D-C group. Food and water intakes, urinary volume as well as urinary glucose losses were not significantly different between D-C and D groups.

CONCLUSIONS: C-peptide administration in replacement dose to streptozotocin diabetic rats induces weight gain regardless hyperglycaemia or glycosuria. Diabetic animals supplemented with C-peptide exhibit better renal function resulting in reduced urinary sodium waste and protein excretion together with reduction of the diabetes-induced glomerular hyperfiltration.

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