Pronounced kidney hypoxia precedes albuminuria in type 1 diabetic mice

Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2016 May 1;310(9):F807-9. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00049.2016. Epub 2016 Mar 2.


Intrarenal tissue hypoxia has been proposed as a unifying mechanism for the development of chronic kidney disease, including diabetic nephropathy. However, hypoxia has to be present before the onset of kidney disease to be the causal mechanism. To establish whether hypoxia precedes the onset of diabetic nephropathy, we implemented a minimally invasive electron paramagnetic resonance oximetry technique using implanted oxygen sensing probes for repetitive measurements of in vivo kidney tissue oxygen tensions in mice. Kidney cortex oxygen tensions were measured before and up to 15 days after the induction of insulinopenic diabetes in male mice and compared with normoglycemic controls. On day 16, urinary albumin excretions and conscious glomerular filtration rates were determined to define the temporal relationship between intrarenal hypoxia and disease development. Diabetic mice developed pronounced intrarenal hypoxia 3 days after the induction of diabetes, which persisted throughout the study period. On day 16, diabetic mice had glomerular hyperfiltration, but normal urinary albumin excretion. In conclusion, intrarenal tissue hypoxia in diabetes precedes albuminuria thereby being a plausible cause for the onset and progression of diabetic nephropathy.

Keywords: diabetic nephropathy; intrarenal hypoxia; kidney tissue oxygen tensions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Albuminuria / etiology*
  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications*
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / etiology*
  • Disease Progression
  • Electron Spin Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Hypoxia / complications*
  • Kidney Cortex / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Oximetry