Effects of vitamin D on renal fibrosis in diabetic nephropathy model rats

Yanyan Tian, Guodong Lv, Ye Yang, Yuanyuan Zhang, Rui Yu, Jia Zhu, Lati Xiao, Jun Zhu
International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Pathology 2014, 7 (6): 3028-37
This study is to investigate the effects of vitamin D on renal fibrosis in rat diabetic nephropathy models, as well as the changes and interactions in the expressions of renal fibrogenesis- and inflammation-related genes. Rat diabetic nephropathy models were established by high-fat diets, which were subjected to TGF-β1 manipulation, as well as vitamin D treatment. H&E staining, Masson staining, and TEM detection were performed to assess the effects of vitamin D treatment and/or TGF-β1 manipulation on pathological changes in the renal tissues in these rat diabetic nephropathy models. Immunohistology and real-time PCR were used to evaluate the expressions of TGF-β1, MCP-1, CTGF, and VDR. Histological staining and TEM detection showed that, in both TGF-β1 over-expressed and interfered groups, vitamin D administration alleviated the renal fibrosis, compared with the vehicle treatment. Similar results were observed with the immunohistological staining. Real-time PCR analysis indicated that, when TGF-β1 was over-expressed in diabetic nephropathy, the expressions of MCP-1 and CTGF were also up-regulated, which would be decreased by the treatment of vitamin D. On the other hand, when TGF-β1 was interfered in DN, the expressions of MCP-1 and CTGF were relatively down-regulated, which would be further lowered by vitamin D administration. The mRNA expression of VDR was elevated by vitamin D treatment in these diabetic nephropathy models. Active vitamin D3 and lentivirus-mediated TGF-β1 interference could effectively reduce the renal fibrosis and protect the renal function in diabetic nephropathy rat models, which makes a promising therapeutic strategy for the disease.

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