Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) has a complex and prolonged pathogenesis involving many cell types in the kidney as well as extrarenal factors. It is clinically silent for many years after the onset of diabetes and usually progresses over decades. Given this complexity, a comprehensive and unbiased molecular approach is best suited to help identify the most critical mechanisms responsible for progression of DKD and those most suited for targeted intervention. Systems biological investigations provide such an approach since they examine the entire network of molecular changes that occur in a disease process in a comprehensive way instead of focusing on a single abnormal molecule or pathway. Systems biological studies can also start with analysis of the disease in humans, not in animal or cell culture models that often poorly reproduce the changes in human DKD. Indeed, in the last decade, systems biological approaches have led to the identification of critical molecular abnormalities in DKD and have directly led to development of new biomarkers and potential treatments for DKD.
- Epidermal growth factor
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