Diabetes Metab J > Volume 31(6); 2007 > Article
Korean Diabetes Journal 2007;31(6):451-454.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4093/jkda.2007.31.6.451    Published online November 1, 2007.
The Role of Glomerular Podocytes in Diabetic Nephropathy.
Eun Young Lee, Choon Hee Chung
1Department of Internal Medicine, Soonchunhyang University.
2Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei University Wonju College of Medicine.
3Institute of Lifelong Health, Yonsei University Wonju College of Medicine.
Diabetic nephropathy is the most common cause of end-stage renal disease and accounts for significant morbidity and mortality among individuals with diabetes mellitus. Therefore, the clarification of the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy is an urgent issue. Podocytes cover the outer layer of the glomerulus and maintain its integrity so that fluid and toxins exit in urine, but cells and important proteins are kept in the blood stream. Diabetes mellitus alters this structure, it becomes scarred and then the ability of the kidney to clear toxins is lost. Recent evidence shows that early in diabetes the podocyte number is reduced, areas of the glomerular basement membrane are denuded, and podocyte number predicts long-term urinary albumin excretion in the patients with diabetes and microalbuminuria. These results suggest that podocytes play a critical role in the early stage of diabetic nephropathy. It is the purpose of this article to review the pathogenetic role of podocytes in diabetic nephropathy.
Key Words: Diabetic nephropathy, Podocytes, Microalbuminuria

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