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CHOP-ASO Ameliorates Glomerular and Tubular Damage on Top of ACE Inhibition in Diabetic Kidney Disease
Journal of the American Society of Nephrology  (IF10.121),  Pub Date : 2021-12-01, DOI: 10.1681/asn.2021040431
Khurrum Shahzad, Sameen Fatima, Moh’d Mohanad Al-Dabet, Ihsan Gadi, Hamzah Khawaja, Saira Ambreen, Ahmed Elwakiel, Nora Klöting, Matthias Blüher, Peter P. Nawroth, Peter R. Mertens, Sven Michel, Frank Jaschinski, Richard Klar, Berend Isermann


Maladaptive endoplasmic reticulum stress signaling in diabetic kidney disease (DKD) is linked to increased glomerular and tubular expression of the cell-death–promoting transcription factor C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP). Here, we determined whether locked nucleic acid (LNA)–modified antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) targeting CHOP ameliorate experimental DKD.


We determined the efficacy of CHOP-ASO in the early and late stages of experimental DKD (in 8- or 16-week-old db/db mice, respectively) alone or with an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEi), after an in vivo dose-escalation study. We used renal functional parameters and morphologic analyses to assess the effect of CHOP-ASO and renal gene-expression profiling to identify differentially regulated genes and pathways. Several human CHOP-ASOs were tested in hyperglycemia-exposed human kidney cells.


CHOP-ASOs efficiently reduced renal CHOP expression in diabetic mice and reduced markers of DKD at the early and late stages. Early combined intervention (CHOP-ASO and ACEi) efficiently prevented interstitial damage. At the later timepoint, the combined treatment reduced indices of both glomerular and tubular damage more efficiently than either intervention alone. CHOP-ASO affected a significantly larger number of genes and disease pathways, including reduced sodium-glucose transport protein 2 (Slc5a2) and PROM1 (CD133). Human CHOP-ASOs efficiently reduced glucose-induced CHOP and prevented death of human kidney cells in vitro.


The ASO-based approach efficiently reduced renal CHOP expression in a diabetic mouse model, providing an additional benefit to an ACEi, particularly at later timepoints. These studies demonstrate that ASO-based therapies efficiently reduce maladaptive CHOP expression and ameliorate experimental DKD.