Diabetic nephropathy accounts for the most serious microvascular complication of diabetes mellitus. It is suggested that the prevalence of diabetic nephropathy will continue to increase in future posing a major challenge to the healthcare system resulting in increased morbidity and mortality. It occurs as a result of interaction between both genetic and environmental factors in individuals with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Genetic susceptibility has been proposed as an important factor for the development and progression of diabetic nephropathy, and various research efforts are being executed worldwide to identify the susceptibility gene for diabetic nephropathy. Numerous single nucleotide polymorphisms have been found in various genes giving rise to various gene variants which have been found to play a major role in genetic susceptibility to diabetic nephropathy. The risk of developing diabetic nephropathy is increased several times by inheriting risk alleles at susceptibility loci of various genes like ACE, IL, TNF-α, COL4A1, eNOS, SOD2, APOE, GLUT, etc. The identification of these genetic variants at a biomarker level could thus, allow the detection of those individuals at high risk for diabetic nephropathy which could thus help in the treatment, diagnosis and early prevention of the disease. The present review discusses about the various gene variants found till date to be associated with diabetic nephropathy.
Keywords: Diabetes mellitus; Diabetic nephropathy; Gene variants; Genetic polymorphism; Nephropathy.