Diabetic nephropathy is the leading cause of end-stage renal disease in Western countries, but only a portion of diabetic patients develop diabetic nephropathy. Dyslipidemia represents an important aspect of the metabolic imbalance in diabetic patients. In this study, we addressed the impact of combined hyperlipidemia and hyperglycemia on renal pathology. Kidneys from wild-type (WT) or LDL receptor-deficient BALB/cBy mice (BALB.LDLR-/-) were examined at 22 weeks of age. Diabetes was induced by administration of streptozotocin and mice were randomly assigned to either standard chow or Western diet. Chow fed BALB.LDLR-/- mice did not demonstrate renal abnormalities, whereas BALB. LDLR-/- mice fed a Western diet showed occasional glomerular and tubulointerstitial foam cells. Diabetic WT mice had modestly increased glomerular cellularity and extracellular matrix. Hyperlipidemic and diabetic BALB.LDLR-/- mice exhibited an increase in glomerular cellularity and extracellular matrix, accumulation of glomerular and tubulointerstitial foam cells and mesangial lipid deposits. The tubular epithelium demonstrated pronounced lipid induced tubular degeneration with increased tubular epithelial cell turnover. Hyperlipidemia and hyperglycemia seem to act synergistically in inducing renal injury in the BALB.LDLR-/- mouse. This model of diabetic nephropathy is unique in its development of tubular lesions and may represent a good model for hyperlipidemia-exacerbated diabetic nephropathy.
Copyright 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel