Low-dose IL-17 therapy prevents and reverses diabetic nephropathy, metabolic syndrome, and associated organ fibrosis

Riyaz Mohamed, Calpurnia Jayakumar, Feng Chen, David Fulton, David Stepp, Ron T. Gansevoort, Ganesan Ramesh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Diabetes is the leaDing cause of kidney failure, accounting for .45% of new cases of dialysis. Diabetic nephropathy is characterized by inflammation, fibrosis, and oxidant stress, pathologic features that are shared by many other chronic inflammatory diseases. The cytokine IL-17A was initially implicated as a mediator of chronic inflammatory diseases, but recent studies dispute these findings and suggest that IL-17A can favorably modulate inflammation. Here, we examined the role of IL-17A in diabetic nephropathy. We observed that IL-17A levels in plasma and urine were reduced in patients with advanced diabetic nephropathy. Type 1 diabetic mice that are genetically deficient in IL-17A developed more severe nephropathy, whereas administration of low-dose IL-17A prevented diabetic nephropathy inmodels of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Moreover, IL-17A administration effectively treated, prevented, and reversed established nephropathy in genetic models of diabetes. Protective effects were also observed after administration of IL-17F but not IL-17C or IL-17E. Notably, tubular epithelial cell-specific overexpression of IL-17A was sufficient to suppress diabetic nephropathy.Mechanistically, IL-17Aadministration suppressed phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3, a central mediator of fibrosis, upregulated anti-inflammatory microglia/macrophageWAP domain protein in an AMP-activated protein kinase-dependent manner and favorably modulated renal oxidative stress and AMP-activated protein kinase activation. Administration of recombinant microglia/macrophage WAP domain protein suppressed diabetes-induced albuminuria and enhanced M2 marker expression. These observations suggest that the beneficial effects of IL-17 are isoform-specific and identify low-dose IL-17A administration as a promising therapeutic approach in diabetic kidney disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)745-765
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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