Kidney in diabetes: From organ damage target to therapeutic target

Teresa Salvatore, Ornella Carbonara, Domenico Cozzolino, Roberto Torella, Rodolfo Nasti, Nadia Lascar, Ferdinando Carlo Sasso*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Despite the growing of pharmacological options for the treatment of diabetes, epidemiological studies suggest that a substantial proportion of patients does not achieve glycemic goals and so suffers from the risk of chronic complications. This review explores the inhibition of renal glucose reabsorption as a novel approach to treat hyperglycemia. Sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2), a low-affinity high-capacity transporter located in the brush-border membrane of the early segment (S1) of the proximal renal tubule, accounts for about 90% of the reabsorption of glucose from tubular fluid. Competitive inhibitors of SGLT2 that are responsible for renal excretion of glucose provide a unique mechanism to potentially lower the elevated blood glucose levels in patients with diabetes. They act independently of insulin secretion, thereby minimizing the risk of hypoglycemia and weight gain, to control energy balance in a negative direction, a distinctive advantage of this class of drugs over existing oral hypoglycemic agents. Although this group of medications is still under investigation, it appears to be safe and generally well tolerated and it would be expected to improve the treatment of type 2 diabetes as monotherapy or in combination with other oral or parenteral agents. Dapagliflozin is the first agent within this class, which induces clinically meaningful reductions in FPG, PPG, HbA1c, and body weight in type 2 diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)658-666
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Drug Metabolism
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2011


  • Antidiabetic drugs
  • Dapagliflozin
  • Kidney
  • SGLT2 inhibitors
  • Sodium-glucose cotransporters
  • Type 2 diabetes.


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