Gold nanoparticles attenuate albuminuria by inhibiting podocyte injury in a rat model of diabetic nephropathy

Murtaza M Tambuwala

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Several recent studies have reported that gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) attenuate hyperglycemia in diabetic animal models without any observed side effects. The present study was intended to provide insight into the effects of 50-nm AuNPs on diabetic kidney disease. Adult male rats were divided into three groups (n = 7/group): control (non-diabetic, ND), diabetic (D), and diabetic treated intraperitoneally with 50-nm AuNPs (AuNPs + D; 2.5 mg/kg/day) for 7 weeks. Diabetes was induced by a single-dose injection of 55 mg/kg streptozotocin. The result showed that AuNP treatment prevented diabetes-associated increases in the blood glucose level. Reduction in 24-h urinary albumin excretion rate, glomerular basement membrane thickness, foot process width, and renal oxidative stress markers was also demonstrated in the AuNP-treated group. In addition, the results showed downregulation effect of AuNPs in renal mRNA or protein expression of transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β 1), fibronectin, collagen IV, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A). Moreover, the protein expression of nephrin and podocin, podocyte markers, in glomeruli was increased in the AuNPs + D group compared with the D group. These results provide evidence that 50-nm AuNPs can ameliorate renal damage in experimental models of diabetic nephropathy through improving the renal function and downregulating extracellular matrix protein accumulation, along with inhibiting renal oxidative stress and amelioration of podocyte injury.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalDrug Delivery and Translational Research
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 21 Oct 2019


  • Diabetic nephropathy
  • Gold nanoparticles
  • Nanomedicine
  • Rats
  • Streptozotocin


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