Klinische Wochenschrift

, Volume 66, Issue 18, pp 873–882 | Cite as

Pathobiochemical aspects of diabetic nephropathy

  • E. Schleicher
  • A. Nerlich
  • K. -D. Gerbitz


Diabetic nephropathy develops in many diabetic patients as consequence of glomerulosclerosis. On the basis of a series of recent observations it is suggested that a combination of metabolic and hemodynamic changes is responsible for the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy. Since the glomerular filtration unit has been characterized to consist of collagen type IV and minor components like laminin, fibronectin and heparan sulfate proteoglycan, influence of diabetes on basement membrane (BM) components has been studied. Biochemical alterations of glomerular BM consist of an increased nonenzymatic glucosylation of type IV collagen leading to unphysiological crosslinking. This, in turn, may result in alteration of the size selective properties of the glomerular filtration unit. Changes in composition of glomerular BM have recently been described. An increased synthesis of type IV collagen with concomitant decrease of heparan sulfate proteoglycan may lead to alteration of the charge selective barrier and consequently to increased permeability of the glomerular BM. Permanently unbalanced synthesis of BM components finally results in obliteration of the capillary lumen. In late state nephropathy intrinsic basement membrane components are no longer produced. Instead, massive accumulation of PAS positive material occurs.

Key words

Pathobiochemistry Diabetes mellitus Nephropathy Late complications Polyanion Basement membrane Nonenzymatic glucosylation 



basement membrane


advanced glucosylation end products


immunglobulin G


heparan sulfate proteoglycan


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Schleicher
    • 1
  • A. Nerlich
    • 2
  • K. -D. Gerbitz
    • 1
  1. 1.Forschergruppe Diabetes und Klinisch-chemisches Institut, Krankenhaus München-SchwabingMünchen
  2. 2.Pathologisches Institut der UniversitätMünchen

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