Inflammatory cytokines as predictive markers for early detection and progression of diabetic nephropathy

EPMA J. 2010 Mar;1(1):117-29. doi: 10.1007/s13167-010-0004-7. Epub 2010 Mar 13.


Diabetic nephropathy is a major complication of diabetes mellitus and the leading cause of end-stage renal disease. Both hyperglycemia and hypertension (systemic and/or intraglomerular) are established causal factors for diabetic nephropathy. Nonetheless, there is growing evidence that activated innate immunity and inflammation are also contributing factors to the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy. This notion is based on increasing evidence indicating that both cytokines-chemokines and pro-fibrotic growth factors are important players in the progression of diabetic nephropathy, effectively accelerating and exacerbating inflammatory and fibrotic processes leading to end-stage renal disease. In this review, we focus on several predominant cytokines-chemokines as potential predictive markers for diabetic nephropathy. These cytokines-chemokines may also be helpful as biomarkers to monitor the progression of the disease and the impact of interventional modalities aimed at halting eventual manifestation of end-stage renal disease in diabetic patients.