BMC Endocr Disord. 2023 Oct 23;23(1):230. doi: 10.1186/s12902-023-01483-3.
BACKGROUND: Podocyte apoptosis is one of the important pathological mechanisms of diabetic kidney disease (DKD). Acteoside (Act), a major active component of Rehmannia glutinosa leaves total glycoside, has a strong renoprotective action. Our study aims to demonstrate Act’s renoprotective actions in db/db mice.
METHODS: We adopted C57BLKS/J db/db mice as DKD animal models. After 8 weeks of Act administration, the 24-hour urine albumin, renal function index, and blood lipid levels were quantified using matching kits. Renal pathology was evaluated by HE and PAS staining. The podocyte damage and apoptosis-related signaling pathway were observed by using immunohistochemistry, western blot, and TUNEL staining.
RESULTS: The albuminuria of db/db mice was reduced from 391 ug/24 h to 152 ug/24 h, and renal pathology changes were alleviated after Act administration. The western blot and immunohistochemistry showed that Act treatment upregulated the synaptopodin and podocin expression compared with db/db mice, while the TUNEL staining indicated podocyte apoptosis was inhibited. The B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) level was upregulated in the Act group, but cleaved caspase-3 and Bcl-2 associated X protein (Bax) expression declined, while the protein kinase B/glycogen synthase kinase-3β (AKT/GSK-3β) signaling pathway was repressed.
CONCLUSIONS: By inhibiting the AKT/GSK-3β signaling pathway, Act protected podocytes from apoptosis, decreasing the urine albumin of db/db mice and delaying the course of DKD.