Gene expression profiles of diabetic kidney disease and neuropathy in eNOS knockout mice: Predictors of pathology and RAS blockade effects

Stephanie A. Eid, Lucy M. Hinder, Hongyu Zhang, Ridvan Eksi, Viji Nair, Sean Eddy, Felix Eichinger, Meeyoung Park, Jharna Saha, Celine C. Berthier, Hosagrahar V. Jagadish, Yuanfang Guan, Subramaniam Pennathur, Junguk Hur, Matthias Kretzler, Eva L. Feldman, Frank C. Brosius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) and diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) are two common diabetic complications. However, their pathogenesis remains elusive and current therapies are only modestly effective. We evaluated genome-wide expression to identify pathways involved in DKD and DPN progression in db/db eNOS−/− mice receiving renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAS)-blocking drugs to mimic the current standard of care for DKD patients. Diabetes and eNOS deletion worsened DKD, which improved with RAS treatment. Diabetes also induced DPN, which was not affected by eNOS deletion or RAS blockade. Given the multiple factors affecting DKD and the graded differences in disease severity across mouse groups, an automatic data analysis method, SOM, or self-organizing map was used to elucidate glomerular transcriptional changes associated with DKD, whereas pairwise bioinformatic analysis was used for DPN. These analyses revealed that enhanced gene expression in several pro-inflammatory networks and reduced expression of development genes correlated with worsening DKD. Although RAS treatment ameliorated the nephropathy phenotype, it did not alter the more abnormal gene expression changes in kidney. Moreover, RAS exacerbated expression of genes related to inflammation and oxidant generation in peripheral nerves. The graded increase in inflammatory gene expression and decrease in development gene expression with DKD progression underline the potentially important role of these pathways in DKD pathogenesis. Since RAS blockers worsened this gene expression pattern in both DKD and DPN, it may partly explain the inadequate therapeutic efficacy of such blockers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere21467
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021


  • RAS blockade
  • diabetic kidney disease
  • diabetic peripheral neuropathy
  • genome-wide expression
  • self-organizing map

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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