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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 123497, 12 pages
Research Article

Effects of Chinese Medicine Tong xinluo on Diabetic Nephropathy via Inhibiting TGF-β1-Induced Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition

1School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Capital Medical University, No. 10, Youanmenwai, Xitoutiao, Fengtai District, Beijing 100069, China
2Department of Cell Biology, School of Basic Medical Science, Capital Medical University, No. 10, Youanmenwai, Xitoutiao, Fengtai District, Beijing 100069, China

Received 6 November 2013; Revised 18 March 2014; Accepted 22 March 2014; Published 17 April 2014

Academic Editor: Sunil Kumar Khare

Copyright © 2014 Na Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is a major cause of chronic kidney failure and characterized by interstitial and glomeruli fibrosis. Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) plays an important role in the pathogenesis of DN. Tong xinluo (TXL), a Chinese herbal compound, has been used in China with established therapeutic efficacy in patients with DN. To investigate the molecular mechanism of TXL improving DN, KK-Ay mice were selected as models for the evaluation of pathogenesis and treatment in DN. In vitro, TGF-β1 was used to induce EMT. Western blot (WB), immunofluorescence staining, and real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) were applied to detect the changes of EMT markers in vivo and in vitro, respectively. Results showed the expressions of TGF-β1 and its downstream proteins smad3/p-smad3 were greatly reduced in TXL group; meantime, TXL restored the expression of smad7. As a result, the expressions of collagen IV (Col IV) and fibronectin (FN) were significantly decreased in TXL group. In vivo, 24 h-UAER (24-hour urine albumin excretion ratio) and BUN (blood urea nitrogen) were decreased and Ccr (creatinine clearance ratio) was increased in TXL group compared with DN group. In summary, the present study demonstrates that TXL successfully inhibits TGF-β1-induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in DN, which may account for the therapeutic efficacy in TXL-mediated renoprotection.