Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is a common form of kidney damage that occurs with the progression of metabolic diseases like type I and type II diabetes. If diabetes is not properly treated then damage can occur to the glomeruli, the filtration units of the kidney. This damage can lead to high blood pressure, which puts more pressure on the remaining healthy kidney and leads to more damage, chronic kidney disease, (CKD) and eventual progression to end stage kidney disease (ESRD).
Glycolipids have been shown to play roles in metabolic disease. Elevated levels of glycolipids contribute to insulin resistance and lowering glycolipdis with GCS inhibitors can increase insulin sensitivity and improve glucose tolerance. Glycolipids are elevated in the kidneys of diabetic nephropathy patients where they likely contribute to inflammation, hypertrophy, and fibrosis. Therefore, treating patients with GCS inhibitors have the potential to target both the metabolic disease and the resulting tissue damage occurring in DN.