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Experimental Diabesity Research
Volume 4 (2003), Issue 4, Pages 225-233

Trophic Factors and Cytokines in Early Diabetic Glomerulopathy

1University of Michigan, 1560 MSRB2, 1150 W. Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0676, USA
2Departments of Internal Medicine and Physiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

Received 16 January 2003; Accepted 25 March 2003

Copyright © 2003 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


The intent of this review is to focus on recent advances in the understanding of the factors responsible for the progressive pathologic features of diabetic kidney disease, with special attention to various growth factors and cytokines that appear to be important in this process. In addition, emphasis is centered on relatively early stages of the disease, because animal models have been most helpful to date in understanding this stage of the disease process. Although tubulointerstitial changes are of critical importance in the progression of diabetic nephropathy, especially in the evolution to end-stage renal disease, there is a general consensus that glomerular pathology occurs first. Therefore, attention is limited to factors that may be important in the development of early diabetic glomerulopathy, including transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β), insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A, and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF).