VEGF and podocytes in diabetic nephropathy

Semin Nephrol. 2012 Jul;32(4):385-93. doi: 10.1016/j.semnephrol.2012.06.010.


Vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) is a protein secreted by podocytes that is necessary for survival of endothelial cells, podocytes, and mesangial cells. VEGF-A regulates slit-diaphragm signaling and podocyte shape via VEGF-receptor 2-nephrin-nck-actin interactions. Chronic hyperglycemia-induced excess podocyte VEGF-A and low endothelial nitric oxide drive the development and the progression of diabetic nephropathy. The abnormal cross-talk between VEGF-A and nitric oxide pathways is fueled by the diabetic milieu, resulting in increased oxidative stress. Recent findings on these pathogenic molecular mechanisms provide new potential targets for therapy for diabetic renal disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Survival
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / metabolism*
  • Glycation End Products, Advanced / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Nitrogen Oxides / metabolism
  • Podocytes / metabolism*
  • Podocytes / pathology
  • Renin-Angiotensin System
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / metabolism*


  • Glycation End Products, Advanced
  • Nitrogen Oxides
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A