Molecular medicine reports

Effect of zinc deficiency on mouse renal interstitial fibrosis in diabetic nephropathy.

PMID 27779665


There is emerging evidence that tubulointerstitial fibrosis is the final common pathway of the majority of chronic progressive renal diseases, including diabetic nephropathy (DN). Zinc, an essential dietary element, has been suggested to be important for a number of protein functions during fibrosis in vivo and in vitro. However, the effect of zinc deficiency (ZnD) on renal interstitial fibrosis in DN remains unclear. The present study investigated the effect and the underlying mechanisms of ZnD on renal interstitial fibrosis during DN using an streptozotocin‑induced model of diabetes with immunofluorescence staining and western blot analysis. The present study identified that dietary zinc restriction significantly decreased zinc concentrations in the plasma and mouse kidney. ZnD enhanced albuminuria and extracellular matrix protein expression, associated with diabetic renal interstitial fibrosis by activation of renal interstitial fibroblasts and regulation of the expression of fibrosis‑associated factors, which may be mediated by the activation of fibroblasts via the TGF‑β/Smad signaling pathway. The data indicates that ZnD serves an important role in the pathogenic mechanisms of renal interstitial fibrosis during the development of DN.