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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Regulation of podocalyxin expression in the kidney of streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats with Chinese herbs (Yishen capsule)

Jingai Fang1*, Hongkun Wei1, Yanyan Sun1, Xiaodong Zhang1, Wenyuan Liu1, Qintao Chang1, Ruihua Wang1 and Yuewen Gong2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Nephrology, The First Affiliated Hospital to the Shanxi Medical University, 56 Xinjian South Road, Taiyuan, Shanxi Province, 030001, People’s Republic of China

2 Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, R3E 0 T5, Canada

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013, 13:76  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-76

Published: 5 April 2013



Diabetic nephropathy is an emergent issue in China with increase in patients with type II diabetes. There are several successful Chinese herbal products for the treatment of patients with diabetic nephropathy in China. However, the mechanisms mediating the biological activity of these products are still unclear. Podocalyxin is a sialoprotein critical to maintaining integrity of filtration function of glomerulus.


By employing streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats and a Chinese herb formulation (Yishen capsule), we examined the regulation of podocalyxin expression in the kidney by Yishen capsule through immunofluorescent staining and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction.


After injection of STZ, there were significant increase in both blood glucose and urinary protein. Serum creatinine and BUN were also increased in rats with injection of STZ. Moreover, expression of podocalyxin in the glomerulus was gradually reduced after injection of STZ. There was also a loss of podocyte foot processes in the glomerular basement membrane. However, Yishen capsule or benazepril was able to restore the expression of podocalyxin and podocyte foot processes in the kidney. Although Yishen capsule could reduce urinary protein level, it has little effect on blood glucose level in the rats injected with STZ.


Yishen capsule could attenuate the loss of podocalyxin in the glomerulus of rats injected with STZ.