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The Future: Experimental Therapies for Renal Disease in Diabetes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Georgia E. Fouli, Luigi Gnudi

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2018

King's Authors


Diabetic nephropathy is the commonest cause of end-stage renal disease and affects between 30 and 45% of patients with diabetes mellitus. There is no cure for diabetic nephropathy and the current management of this condition includes glycaemic control, blockade of the renin-angiotensin aldosterone system and lifestyle changes. However, many patients eventually progress to end-stage renal disease. The exact pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy is still being researched, and recent advances have led to the development of several novel potential therapeutic targets. There are a number of different experimental therapies that are currently being assessed. Generally, these can be separated into drugs targeting vasculature/haemodynamic effects, drugs targeting inflammation and drugs targeting oxidative stress. Drugs targeting the vasculature include Tie-2 activators, -sodium-glucose transport protein 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) agonists. Anti-inflammatory therapies include inflammatory cytokines inhibitors, pentoxifylline, as well as anti-transforming growth factor α/-epiregulin therapies. Finally, anti-oxidative stress therapies include nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase inhibitors and allopurinol. Many new trials are providing promising results and it is likely that some of these therapies will be available for clinical use within the next decade. This article will seek to outline the main advancements in each of these experimental therapies for diabetic nephropathy. Results: Abnormal vascular remodelling, inflammation and oxidative stress seem to be the 3 main sources from which future new drugs for diabetic kidney disease will originate.

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