Vitamin D receptor and its protective role in diabetic nephropathy

Chin Med J (Engl). 2014;127(2):365-9.


Objective: To review the advances of studies on vitamin D receptor and its role in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy.

Data sources: A comprehensive search of the PubMed literatures without restriction on the publication date was carried out using keywords such as vitamin D receptor and diabetic nephropathy.

Study selection: Articles related to vitamin D receptor and diabetic nephropathy were selected and carefully analyzed.

Results: The ligands as well as construction and tissue distribution of vitamin D receptor were summarized. Pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy was analyzed. The mechanisms underlying the renoprotective role of vitamin D receptor including inhibition of renin-angiotensin system, anti-inflammation, anti-fibrosis and the reduction of proteinuria were reviewed. Mounting evidences from animal and clinical studies have suggested that vitamin D therapy has beneficial effects on the renal systems and the underlying renoprotective mechanisms of the vitamin D receptor-mediated signaling pathways is a hot research topic.

Conclusion: Our study suggests that vitamin D receptor has a great potential for preventing the progression of diabetic nephropathy via multiple mechanisms.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Proteinuria / metabolism
  • Receptors, Calcitriol / metabolism*
  • Renin-Angiotensin System / physiology


  • Receptors, Calcitriol