Obesity-related glomerulopathy and podocyte injury: a mini review

Front Biosci (Elite Ed). 2012 Jan 1;4:1058-70. doi: 10.2741/441.


Obesity-related glomerulopathy (ORG) is morphologically defined as focal segmental glomerulosclerosis and glomerulomegaly. Podocyte hypertrophy and reduced density are related to proteinuria which in a portion of patients is in the nephrotic range and evolvs towards renal failure. This article reviews the pathogenetic mechanisms of podocyte injury or dysfunction and lists new possible antiproteinuric strategies based on pharmaceutical targeting of the reported pathogenetic mechanisms. The pathogenetic mechnisms discussed include: renin angiotensin system, plasminogen activation inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), lipid metabolism, adiponectin, macrophages and proinflammatory cytokines, oxidative stress. The proposed antiproteinuric strategies include: AT2 receptor blockers; adipokine complement C19 TNF-related protein-1 blocker; selective PAI-1 inhibitor; farnesoid x receptor activation; increase of circulating adiponectin; selective antiinflammatory drugs; more potent antioxidants (Heme oxigenase, NOX4 inhibitors). However, because ORG is a rare disease, the need for a long term pharmaceutical approach in obese proteinuric patients should be carefully evaluated and limited to the cases with progressive loss of renal function.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Kidney Glomerulus / physiopathology*
  • Obesity / physiopathology*
  • Podocytes / pathology*