New experimental models of diabetic nephropathy in mice models of type 2 diabetes: efforts to replicate human nephropathy.
Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is the leading cause of end-stage renal disease. The use of experimental models of DN has provided valuable information regarding many aspects of DN, including pathophysiology, progression, implicated genes, and new therapeutic strategies. A large number of mouse models of diabetes have been identified and their kidney disease was characterized to various degrees. Most experimental models of type 2 DN are helpful in studying early stages of DN, but these models have not been able to reproduce the characteristic features of more advanced DN in humans such as nodules in the glomerular tuft or glomerulosclerosis. The generation of new experimental models of DN created by crossing, knockdown, or knockin of genes continues to provide improved tools for studying DN. These models provide an opportunity to search for new mechanisms involving the development of DN, but their shortcomings should be recognized as well. Moreover, it is important to recognize that the genetic background has a substantial effect on the susceptibility to diabetes and kidney disease development in the various models of diabetes.