Lithium reduces blood glucose levels, but aggravates albuminuria in BTBR-ob/ob mice
SourcePLoS One, 12, 12, (2017), article e0189485
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectRadboudumc 10: Reconstructive and regenerative medicine RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences; Radboudumc 11: Renal disorders RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences
Glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3) plays an important role in the development of diabetes mellitus and renal injury. GSK3 inhibition increases glucose uptake in insulin-insensitive muscle and adipose tissue, while it reduces albuminuria and glomerulosclerosis in acute kidney injury. The effect of chronic GSK3 inhibition in diabetic nephropathy is not known. We tested the effect of lithium, the only clinical GSK3 inhibitor, on the development of diabetes mellitus and kidney injury in a mouse model of diabetic nephropathy. Twelve-week old female BTBR-ob/ob mice were treated for 12 weeks with 0, 10 and 40 mmol LiCl/kg after which the development of diabetes and diabetic nephropathy were analysed. In comparison to BTBR-WT mice, ob/ob mice demonstrated elevated bodyweight, increased blood glucose/insulin levels, urinary albumin and immunoglobulin G levels, glomerulosclerosis, reduced nephrin abundance and a damaged proximal tubule brush border. The lithium-10 and -40 diets did not affect body weight and resulted in blood lithium levels of respectively <0.25 mM and 0.48 mM. The Li-40 diet fully rescued the elevated non-fasting blood glucose levels. Importantly, glomerular filtration rate was not affected by lithium, while urine albumin and immunoglobulin G content were further elevated. While lithium did not worsen the glomerulosclerosis, proximal tubule function seemed affected by lithium, as urinary NGAL levels were significantly increased. These results demonstrate that lithium attenuates non-fasting blood glucose levels in diabetic mice, but aggravates urinary albumin and immunoglobulin G content, possibly resulting from proximal tubule dysfunction.
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