2012 Volume 19 Issue 7 Pages 608-618
Aim: Lipid-lowering medications have been suggested to have a potential benefit in the treatment of chronic kidney disease (CKD) such as diabetic nephropathy. Although ezetimibe has been widely used to lower serum cholesterol levels, the effect of this drug on diabetic nephropathy remains unclear. In the present study, therefore, we examined the protective effect of ezetimibe on diabetic nephropathy in db/db mice.
Method: Db/db mice were fed a standard diet with 0.01% (w/w) of ezetimibe for 8 weeks from 8 weeks of age.
Results: Treatment with ezetimibe did not affect food intake, body weight gain, adiposity, or blood pressure in db/db mice. Ezetimibe also had no effect on glucose metabolism such as fasting plasma glucose and insulin; however, it markedly reduced plasma lipid levels and hepatic lipid contents and reduced the urinary excretion of albumin by 50% in db/db mice, suggesting the effect of ezetimibe on diabetic nephropathy. Furthermore, ezetimibe improved glomerular hypertrophy. Although ezetimibe had no effect on oxidative stress measured by urinary 8-OHdG in db/db mice, the plasma adiponectin level was normalized, and the expression of adiponectin receptor 1 in the kidney was increased by ezetimibe treatment.
Conclusion: Our data suggest that ezetimibe can improve early diabetic nephropathy through its hypolipidemic effect, and the amelioration of adiponectin resistance may also be responsible for the renoprotective effect of ezetimibe as its underlying mechanism.