Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is the leading cause of end-stage renal disease in diabetes mellitus. Oxidative stress, insulin resistance and pro-inflammatory cytokines have been shown to play an important role in pathogeneses of renal damage on type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM). Inonotus obliquus (IO) is a white rot fungus that belongs to the family Hymenochaetaceae; it has been used as an edible mushroom and exhibits many biological activities including anti-tumor, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-hyperglycemic properties. Especially the water-soluble Inonotus obliquus polysaccharides (IOPs) have been previously reported to significantly inhibit LPS-induced inflammatory cytokines in mice and protect from streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats. In order to identify the nephroprotective effects of low molecular weight of IOP fraction (LIOP), from the fruiting bodies of Inonotus obliquus, high-fat diet (HFD) plus STZ-induced type 2-like diabetic nephropathy C57BL/6 mice were investigated in this study. Our data showed that eight weeks of administration of 10-100 kDa, LIOP (300 mg/kg) had progressively increased their sensitivity to glucose (less insulin tolerance), reduced triglyceride levels, elevated the HDL/LDL ratio and decreased urinary albumin/creatinine ratio(ACR) compared to the control group. By pathological and immunohistochemical examinations, it was indicated that LIOP can restore the integrity of the glomerular capsules and increase the numbers of glomerular mesangial cells, associated with decreased expression of TGF-β on renal cortex in mice. Consistently, three days of LIOP (100 μg/mL) incubation also provided protection against STZ + AGEs-induced glucotoxicity in renal tubular cells (LLC-PK1), while the levels of NF-κB and TGF-β expression significantly decreased in a dose-dependent manner. Our findings demonstrate that LIOP treatment could ameliorate glucolipotoxicity-induced renal fibrosis, possibly partly via the inhibition of NF-κB/TGF-β1 signaling pathway in diabetic nephropathy mice.
Keywords: Inonotus obliquus; NF-κB; TGF-β; advanced glycation end products (AGE); diabetic nephropathy; polysaccharides; renal fibrosis.