Current Diabetes Reports

, Volume 4, Issue 6, pp 447-454

Transforming growth factor-beta: A clinical target for the treatment of diabetic nephropathy

  • Tracy A. McGowan
  • , Yanqing Zhu
  • , Kumar SharmaAffiliated withDorrance Hamilton Research Laboratories, Division of Nephrology,Center for Diabetic Kidney Disease, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital

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Diabetic nephropathy is continuing to rise in incidence, despite awareness of tight glycemic control and blood pressure. The identification that matrix accumulation is driven by transforming growth factor-â (TGF-â) has led to a concerted effort to apply antifibrotic strategies for this disorder. Recent studies have not only demonstrated the beneficial effects of blocking TGF-â on matrix accumulation but have also found that blocking TGF-â may have important hemodynamic effects that are relevant to diabetic complications. In this article, we review the latest knowledge regarding the role of TGF-â in diabetic kidney disease and discuss available and novel therapeutic approaches. The role of a novel antifibrotic drug, pirfenidone, may have important clinical relevance to diabetic nephropathy.