Knockout of Toll-Like Receptor-2 Attenuates Both the Proinflammatory State of Diabetes and Incipient Diabetic Nephropathy
Objective—Type 1 diabetes (T1DM) is a proinflammatory state and confers an increased risk for vascular complications. Toll-like receptors (TLR) could participate in diabetic vasculopathies. Whether TLR activation contributes to the proinflammatory state of T1DM and the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy remains unknown.
Methods and Results—We induced T1DM in TLR2 knockout mice (TLR2−/−) and wild-type littermates (C57BL/6J-WT) using streptozotocin (STZ). Fasting blood, peritoneal macrophages, and kidneys were obtained for flow cytometry, Western blot, microscopy, and cytokine assays at 6 and 14 weeks after induction of diabetes. Macrophage TLR2 expression and MyD88-dependent signaling were increased in diabetic mice (WT+STZ) compared with nondiabetic WT mice. These biomarkers were attenuated in diabetic TLR2−/− macrophages. WT+STZ mice showed increased kidney:body weight ratio due to cell hypertrophy, increased albuminuria, decreased kidney nephrin, podocin, and podocyte number and increased transforming growth factor-β and laminin compared with WT mice. Nephrin, podocin, and podocyte number and effacement were restored, and transforming growth factor-β and laminin levels were decreased in TLR2−/−+ STZ mice kidneys versus WT+STZ. Peritoneal and kidney macrophages were predominantly M1 phenotype in WT+STZ mice; this was attenuated in TLR2−/−+STZ mice.
Conclusion—These data support a role for TLR2 in promoting inflammation and early changes of incipient diabetic nephropathy, in addition to albuminuria and podocyte loss.
- Received April 7, 2011.
- Accepted May 11, 2011.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.