Sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibition normalizes glucose metabolism and suppresses oxidative stress in the kidneys of diabetic mice

Kidney Int. 2018 Nov;94(5):912-925. doi: 10.1016/j.kint.2018.04.025. Epub 2018 Jul 16.


It is unclear whether long-term sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibition such as that during the treatment of diabetes has deleterious effects on the kidney. Therefore, we first sought to determine whether abnormal glucose metabolism occurs in the kidneys of 22-week-old BTBR ob/ob diabetic mice. Second, the cumulative effect of chronic SGLT2 inhibition by ipragliflozin and 30% calorie restriction, either of which lowered blood glucose to a similar extent, on renal glucose metabolism was evaluated. Mass spectrometry-based metabolomics demonstrated that these diabetic mice exhibited an abnormal elevation in the renal pools of tricarboxylic acid cycle metabolites. This was almost completely nullified by SGLT2 inhibition and calorie restriction. Moreover, imaging mass spectrometry indicated an increased level of the tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediate, citrate, in the cortex of the diabetic mice. SGLT2 inhibition as well as calorie restriction almost completely eliminated citrate accumulation in the cortex. Furthermore, imaging mass spectrometry revealed that the accumulation of oxidized glutathione in the cortex of the kidneys, prominent in the glomeruli, was also canceled by SGLT2 inhibition and calorie restriction. Effects of these beneficial interventions were consistent with improvements in glomerular damage, such as albuminuria, glomerular hyperfiltration, and mesangial expansion. Tubulointerstitial macrophage infiltration and fibrosis were ameliorated only by calorie restriction, which may have been due to autophagy activation, which was observed only with calorie restriction. Thus, chronic SGLT2 inhibition is efficient in normalizing the levels of accumulated tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates and increased oxidative stress in the kidneys of diabetic mice.

Keywords: albuminuria; diabetes; diabetic nephropathy; oxidative stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Caloric Restriction
  • Citric Acid Cycle / drug effects
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / metabolism
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Glucosides / pharmacology*
  • Kidney / drug effects*
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Obese
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Sodium-Glucose Transporter 2 Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Thiophenes / pharmacology*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glucosides
  • Sodium-Glucose Transporter 2 Inhibitors
  • Thiophenes
  • ipragliflozin
  • Glucose