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The protective mechanism of Naja Naja atra venom on diabetic kidney disease

HongYu Lu1, YaJuan Wu1*, Yan Xie2, XiaoWei Li1, Xian Ji1, TianHui Jiang1, XiaoXian Pei1, ZhuYa Zhou1 [ + show more ]

J Venom Anim Toxins incl Trop Dis, 2023, 29:e20230037
Received: 21 May 2023 | Accepted: 30 October 2023 | Published online: 08 December 2023


Background: Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) is a serious microvascular complication of diabetes that affects both type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients at a high incidence rate. Naja Naja atra venom (NNAV) has been shown to have protective effects and improved renal function in diabetic rats. However, its mechanism of action is still unclear. This study aims to unravel the effectiveness and mechanisms of NNAV on DKD. Methods: We conducted in vitro experiments in which Human Kidney-2 (HK2) cells were stimulated with high glucose, and exposed to varying concentrations of NNAV. Cell morphology, as well as α-SMA, TGF-β1, and E-cadherin levels, were analyzed using immunofluorescence and western blot. In vivo experiments involved a diabetic rat model, where varying concentrations of cobra α-neurotoxin (CTX) were administrated via gastric treatment. We observed and noted pathomorphological changes, measured biochemical and oxidative stress indices, and used western blot to assess podocin and nephrin levels. Results: High glucose levels can induce a decrease in E-cadherin expression and an increase in α-SMA and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) expression in HK-2 cells. NNAV can inhibit the transdifferentiation of HK-2 cells to myofibroblast (MyoF) in a high glucose environment and reduce the expression of TGF-β1. Cobra α-neurotoxin (CTX) can reduce urine protein in diabetes model rats at an early stage, which is dose-independent and has a time application range. CTX can regulate the expression of nephrin and podocin. Conclusion: The present study indicates that CTX and NNAV attenuate STZ and high glucose-induced DKD. Its mechanisms of action are associated with inhibiting oxidative stress and TEMT. The study suggests that NNAV and CTX might be a potential therapeutic drug for treating DKD.

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