Ablation of the N-type calcium channel ameliorates diabetic nephropathy with improved glycemic control and reduced blood pressure

Shoko Ohno, Hideki Yokoi*, Kiyoshi Mori, Masato Kasahara, Koichiro Kuwahara, Junji Fujikura, Masaki Naito, Takashige Kuwabara, Hirotaka Imamaki, Akira Ishii, Moin Saleem, Tomohiro Numata, Yasuo Mori, Kazuwa Nakao, Motoko Yanagita, Masashi Mukoyama

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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Pharmacological blockade of the N-and L-type calcium channel lessens renal injury in kidney disease patients. The significance of specific blockade of α1 subunit of N-type calcium channel, Cav2.2, in diabetic nephropathy, however, remains to be clarified. To examine functional roles, we mated Cav2.2-/- mice with db/db (diabetic) mice on the C57BLKS background. Cav2.2 was localized in glomeruli including podocytes and in distal tubular cells. Diabetic Cav2.2-/- mice significantly reduced urinary albumin excretion, glomerular hyperfiltration, blood glucose levels, histological deterioration and systolic blood pressure (SBP) with decreased urinary catecholamine compared to diabetic Cav2.2+/+ mice. Interestingly, diabetic heterozygous Cav2.2+/- mice also decreased albuminuria, although they exhibited comparable systolic blood pressure, sympathetic nerve activity and creatinine clearance to diabetic Cav2.2+/+ mice. Consistently, diabetic mice with cilnidipine, an N-/L-type calcium channel blocker, showed a reduction in albuminuria and improvement of glomerular changes compared to diabetic mice with nitrendipine. In cultured podocytes, depolarization-dependent calcium responses were decreased by Ω-conotoxin, a Cav2.2-specific inhibitor. Furthermore, reduction of nephrin by transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) in podocytes was abolished with Ω-conotoxin, cilnidipine or mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase inhibitor. In conclusion, Cav2.2 inhibition exerts renoprotective effects against the progression of diabetic nephropathy, partly by protecting podocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number27192
Number of pages13
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2016


  • Diabetic nephropathy
  • Hypertension


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