SGLT2 inhibition in a kidney with reduced nephron number: modeling and analysis of solute transport and metabolism.
Sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors enhance urinary glucose, Na+ and fluid excretion, and lower hyperglycemia in diabetes by targeting Na+ and glucose reabsorption along the proximal convoluted tubule. A goal of this study was to predict the effects of SGLT2 inhibitors in diabetic and nondiabetic patients with chronic kidney disease. To that end, we employed computational rat kidney models to explore how SGLT2 inhibition affects renal solute transport and metabolism when nephron populations are normal or reduced. Model simulations suggested that in a nondiabetic rat, acute and chronic SGLT2 inhibition induces glucosuria, diuresis, natriuresis, and kaliuresis. Those effects were stronger with chronic SGLT2 inhibition (due to SGLT1 downregulation) and tempered by nephron loss. In a diabetic rat with normal nephron number, acute SGLT2 inhibition similarly elevated urine fluid, Na+, and K+ excretion, whereas the urinary excretory effects of chronic SGLT2 inhibition were attenuated in proportion to its plasma glucose level lowering effect. Nephron loss in a diabetic kidney was predicted to lower the glucosuric and blood glucose-reducing effect of chronic SGLT2 inhibition, but due to the high luminal glucose delivery in the remaining hyperfiltering nephrons, nephron loss enhanced proximal tubular paracellular Na+ secretion, thereby augmenting the natriuretic, diuretic, and kaliuretic effects. A proposed shift in oxygen-consuming active transport to the outer medulla, which may simulate systemic hypoxia and enhance erythropoiesis, was also preserved with nephron loss. These effects may contribute to the protective effects of SGLT2 inhibitors on blood pressure and heart failure observed in diabetic patients with chronic kidney diseases.
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