Research Article|Articles in Press, 155376

Inhibition of S100A8/A9 ameliorates renal interstitial fibrosis in diabetic nephropathy

Published:December 11, 2022DOI:


      • S100A8/A9 expressions are increased in diabetic renal tubular.
      • The levels of S100A8/A9 are associated with renal interstitial fibrosis.
      • S100A8/A9 promote renal interstitial fibrosis through TLR4/NF-κB signal pathway.
      • New compound AB38b ameliorates renal interstitial fibrosis by inhibiting S100A8/A9.



      Renal interstitial fibrosis (RIF) is one of the main features of diabetic nephropathy (DN), but the molecular mechanisms mediating RIF in DN has yet been fully understood. S100A8 and S100A9 are the proteins associated with immune and inflammation response. Here we reported the expression of S100A8 and S100A9 were significantly increased on tubular epithelial cells in diabetic kidneys through a proteomic analysis.


      We detected the expression of S100A8/A9 in diabetic kidneys by using immunoblotting, real-time PCR and immunostaining. RNA silencing and overexpression were performed by using S100A8/A9 expression/knockdown lentivirus to investigate the connection between S100A8/A9 and epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) process. We also identify the expression of TLR4/NFκB pathway-related molecules in the case mentioned above. Afterwards a CO-IP assay was used to verify that compound AB38b ameliorates the EMT by interfering S100A8/A9 expression.


      The expression of S100A8 and S100A9 were significantly increased on tubular epithelial cells in diabetic kidneys. S100A8/A9 knocking-down alleviate and over-expression promote the renal interstitial fibrosis of diabetic mice. Mechanically, high levels of S100A8/A9 expression in tubular epithelial cells during diabetic condition activated the TLR4/NF-κB signal pathway which promoted the EMT process and finally led to RIF progression. S100A8/A9 knockdown ameliorated RIF of diabetic mice. Further experiments revealed that compound AB38b inhibited the EMT progression of tubular epithelial cells induced by S100A8/A9 through interfering the expressions of S100A8/A9.


      Our study suggest that abnormal expression of S100A8/A9 in the disease condition promotes EMT process and RIF through TLR4/NF-κB signal pathway. Using small molecular inhibitor AB38b to inhibit the abnormal expressions of S100A8/A9 might be a novel therapeutic strategy in treating DN.

      Graphical abstract


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