AGE-RAGE axis blockade in diabetic nephropathy: Current status and future directions


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Abstract

Diabetic nephropathy is one of the most frequent micro-vascular complications both in type 1 and type 2 diabetic patients and is the leading cause of end-stage renal disease worldwide. Although disparate mechanisms give rise to the development of diabetic nephropathy, prevailing evidence accentuates that hyperglycemia-associated generation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) plays a central role in the disease pathophysiology. Engagement of the receptor for AGE (RAGE) with its ligands provokes oxidative stress and chronic inflammation in renal tissues, ending up with losses in kidney function. Moreover, RAGE activation evokes the activation of different intracellular signaling pathways like PI3K/Akt, MAPK/ERK, and NF-κB; and therefore, its blockade seems to be an attractive therapeutic target in these group of patients. By recognizing the contribution of AGE-RAGE axis to the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy, agents that block AGEs formation have been at the heart of investigations for several years, yielding encouraging improvements in experimental models of diabetic nephropathy. Even so, recent studies have evaluated the effects of specific RAGE inhibition with FPS-ZM1 and RAGE-aptamers as novel therapeutic strategies. Despite all these promising outcomes in experimental models of diabetic nephropathy, no thorough clinical trial have ever examined the end results of AGE-RAGE axis blockade in patients of diabetic nephropathy. As most of the AGE lowering or RAGE inhibiting compounds have emerged to be non-toxic, devising novel clinical trials appears to be inevitable. Here, the current potential treatment options for diabetic nephropathy by AGE-RAGE inhibitory modalities have been reviewed.

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