Interleukin-20 targets podocytes and is upregulated in experimental murine diabetic nephropathy

Yu Hsiang Hsu, Hsing Hui Li, Junne Ming Sung, Wei Yu Chen, Ya Chin Hou, Yun Han Weng, Wei Ting Lai, Chih Hsing Wu, Ming Shi Chang

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Interleukin (IL)-20, a proinflammatory cytokine of the IL-10 family, is involved in acute and chronic renal failure. The aim of this study was to elucidate the role of IL-20 during diabetic nephropathy development. We found that IL-20 and its receptor IL-20R1 were upregulated in the kidneys of mice and rats with STZ-induced diabetes. In vitro, IL-20 induced MMP-9, MCP-1, TGF-ß1 and VEGF expression in podocytes. IL-20 was upregulated by hydrogen peroxide, high-dose glucose and TGF-ß1. In addition, IL-20 induced apoptosis in podocytes by activating caspase-8. In STZ-induced early diabetic nephropathy, IL-20R1-deficient mice had lower blood glucose and serum BUN levels and a smaller glomerular area than did wild-type controls. Anti-IL-20 monoclonal antibody (7E) treatment reduced blood glucose and the glomerular area and improved renal functions in mice in the early stage of STZ-induced diabetic nephropathy. ELISA showed that the serum IL-20 level was higher in patients with diabetes mellitus than in healthy controls. The findings of this study suggest that IL-20 induces cell apoptosis of podocytes and plays a role in the pathogenesis of early diabetic nephropathy.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere310
JournalExperimental and Molecular Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Mar 3


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry

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