Puerarin attenuates diabetic kidney injury through the suppression of NOX4 expression in podocytes

Xueling Li, Weijing Cai, Kyung Lee, Bohan Liu, Yueyi Deng, Yiping Chen, Xianwen Zhang, John Cijiang He, Yifei Zhong

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48 Scopus citations


Radix puerariae, a traditional Chinese herbal medication, has been used to treat patients with diabetic nephropathy (DN). Several studies demonstrated that puerarin, the active compound of radix puerariae, reduces diabetic injury in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rodent models. However, as STZ injection alone results in mild kidney injury, the therapeutic benefit afforded by puerarin in DN remained inconclusive. Thus we sought to clarify the role of puerarin by employing an accelerated DN model, STZ-induced diabetes in the endothelial nitric oxide synthase-null (eNOS-/-) mice. Puerarin treatment of diabetic eNOS-/- mice significantly attenuated albuminuria and diabetic kidney injury, which were associated with reduced oxidative stress and reduced NAPDH oxidase 4 (NOX4) in glomeruli of diabetic eNOS-/- mice. Puerarin treatment of murine podocytes culture in high glucose conditions led to reduced superoxide production and NOX4 expression. We further determined that that puerarin treatment increased both mRNA and protein levels of SIRT1 in podocytes and that puerarin led to SIRT1-mediated deacetylation of NF-κB and suppression of NOX4 expression. Our findings confirm the renoprotective effects of puerarin in an experimental model of advanced DN and provide a molecular mechanism by which puerarin exerts the anti-oxidative effects in podocytes in the diabetic milieu.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14603
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2017


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