Altered glucose reabsorption via the facilitative glucose transporter 2 (GLUT2) during diabetes may lead to renal proximal tubule cell (RPTC) injury, inflammation, and interstitial fibrosis. These pathologies are also triggered by activating the cannabinoid-1 receptor (CB1R), which contributes to the development of diabetic nephropathy (DN). However, the link between CB1R and GLUT2 remains to be determined. Here, we show that chronic peripheral CB1R blockade or genetically inactivating CB1Rs in the RPTCs ameliorated diabetes-induced renal structural and functional changes, kidney inflammation, and tubulointerstitial fibrosis in mice. Inhibition of CB1R also downregulated GLUT2 expression, affected the dynamic translocation of GLUT2 to the brush border membrane of RPTCs, and reduced glucose reabsorption. Thus, targeting peripheral CB1R or inhibiting GLUT2 dynamics in RPTCs has the potential to treat and ameliorate DN. These findings may support the rationale for the clinical testing of peripherally restricted CB1R antagonists or the development of novel renal-specific GLUT2 inhibitors against DN.
Keywords: CB1 Receptor; Endocannabinoids; GLUT2; Renal Proximal Tubule Cells; diabetic nephropathy.
Copyright © 2018 by the American Society of Nephrology.