The role of insulin receptor (IR) activated by hyperinsulinemia in obesity-induced kidney injury is not well understood. We hypothesized that activation of kidney proximal tubule epithelial IR contributes to obesity-induced kidney injury. We administered normal-fat diet (NFD) or high-fat diet (HFD) to control and kidney proximal tubule IR–knockout (KPTIRKO) mice for 4 months. Renal cortical IR expression was decreased by 60% in male and female KPTIRKO mice. Baseline serum glucose, serum creatinine, and the ratio of urinary albumin to creatinine (ACR) were similar in KPTIRKO mice compared to those of controls. On HFD, weight gain and increase in serum cholesterol were similar in control and KPTIRKO mice; blood glucose did not change. HFD increased the following parameters in the male control mice: renal cortical contents of phosphorylated IR and Akt, matrix proteins, urinary ACR, urinary kidney injury molecule-1–to-creatinine ratio, and systolic blood pressure. Renal cortical generation of hydrogen sulfide was reduced in HFD-fed male control mice. All of these parameters were ameliorated in male KPTIRKO mice. Interestingly, female mice were resistant to HFD-induced kidney injury in both genotypes. We conclude that HFD-induced kidney injury requires renal proximal tubule IR activation in male mice.


Hak Joo Lee, Meenalakshmi M. Mariappan, Luke Norton, Terry Bakewell, Denis Feliers, Sae Byeol Oh, Andrew Donati, Cherubina S. Rubannelsonkumar, Manjeri A. Venkatachalam, Stephen E. Harris, Isabelle Rubera, Michel Tauc, Goutam Ghosh Choudhury, C. Ronald Kahn, Kumar Sharma, Ralph A. DeFronzo, Balakuntalam S. Kasinath


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