Growing evidence suggests that renal purinergic signaling undergoes significant remodeling during pathophysiological conditions such as diabetes. This study examined the renal P2 receptor profile and ATP-mediated calcium response from podocytes in glomeruli from kidneys with type 1 or type 2 diabetic kidney disease (DKD), using type 2 diabetic nephropathy (T2DN) rats and streptozotocin-injected Dahl salt-sensitive (type 1 diabetes) rats. A dramatic increase in the ATP-mediated intracellular calcium flux in podocytes was observed in both models. Pharmacological inhibition established that P2X4 and P2X7 are the major receptors contributing to the augmented ATP-mediated intracellular calcium signaling in diabetic podocytes. The transition in purinergic receptor composition from metabotropic to ionotropic may disrupt intracellular calcium homeostasis in podocytes resulting in their dysfunction and potentially further aggravating DKD progression.
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