MCP-1/CCL2: a new diagnostic marker and therapeutic target for progressive renal injury in diabetic nephropathy

Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2008 Apr;294(4):F697-701. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00016.2008. Epub 2008 Feb 13.


Despite current therapies, many diabetic patients will suffer from declining renal function in association with progressive kidney inflammation. Recently, animal model studies have demonstrated that kidney macrophage accumulation is a critical factor in the development of diabetic nephropathy. However, specific anti-inflammatory strategies are not yet being considered for the treatment of patients with diabetic renal injury. This review highlights the chemokine monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1)/CC-chemokine ligand 2 as a major promoter of inflammation, renal injury, and fibrosis in diabetic nephropathy. Researchers have found that diabetes induces kidney MCP-1 production and that urine MCP-1 levels can be used to assess renal inflammation in this disease. In addition, genetic deletion and molecular blocking studies in rodents have identified MCP-1 as an important therapeutic target for treating diabetic nephropathy. Evidence also suggests that a polymorphism in the human MCP-1 gene is associated with progressive kidney failure in type 2 diabetes, which may identify patients at higher risk who need additional therapy. These findings provide a strong rationale for developing specific therapies against MCP-1 and inflammation in diabetic nephropathy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chemokine CCL2 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Chemokine CCL2 / deficiency
  • Chemokine CCL2 / genetics
  • Chemokine CCL2 / physiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / genetics
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / genetics
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / metabolism*
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / therapy
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / urine
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Macrophages / physiology
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics


  • CCL2 protein, human
  • Chemokine CCL2
  • RNA, Messenger