Combination Therapy of RAS Inhibition and SGLT2 Inhibitors Decreases Levels of Endotrophin in Persons with Type 2 Diabetes

Biomedicines. 2023 Nov 17;11(11):3084. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines11113084.


We investigated for the first time the effect of combination therapy of renin-angiotensin system inhibition (RASi) and sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 inhibitors (SGLT2is) on endotrophin (ETP), a pro-fibrotic signaling molecule reflecting collagen type VI formation, measured in the plasma of persons with type 2 diabetes (T2D). ETP was measured using the PRO-C6 ELISA in 294 individuals from the "Drug combinations for rewriting trajectories of renal pathologies in type 2 diabetes" (DC-ren) project. In the DC-ren study, kidney disease progression was defined as a >10% decline in the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) to an eGFR < 60 mL/min/1.73 m2. Among the investigated circulating markers, ETP was the most significant predictor of future eGFR. Combination therapy of RASi and SGLT2is led to a significant reduction in ETP levels compared to RASi monotherapy (p for slope difference = 0.002). Higher levels of baseline plasma ETP were associated with a significantly increased risk of kidney disease progression (p = 0.007). In conclusion, plasma ETP identified individuals at higher risk of kidney disease progression. The observed decreased levels of plasma ETP with combination therapy of RASi and SGLT2is in persons with T2D may reflect a reduced risk of kidney disease progression following treatment with SGLT2is.

Keywords: biomarker; collagen; diabetic kidney disease; endotrophin; extracellular matrix; fibrosis.