Caspases, Cell Death and Diabetic Nephropathy

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Diabetic Nephropathy. In 2014 (according to data published by the World Health Organization) 9% of the global population was affected by Diabetes which was considered to be directly responsible for 1.5 million deaths just two years prior (in 2012). From the entire number of patients suffering from diabetes, approximately a quarter of them develop renal affection. Diabetic nephropathy has similar physiopathology mechanisms and ultrastructural changes in cell injury characteristics in both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Cell Death. Cell Death was less studied in the renal diabetic disease, although it could represent an important pathogenic mechanism in the appearance and progression of nephropathy. At renal level the cellular loss can be explained by several mechanisms; different stimuli with cellular lesion potential can trigger apoptosis signaling with appearance of regulatory proteins having a double role (they participate in the initiation of the apoptosis path and cell death or in the ending of this process). The types of Cell Death and their relative proportion between themselves in the renal tissue have not been completely elucidated.

Caspases. Discovered in the middle of the 1990’s, Caspases are a part of the cysteine proteases family and play a role in numerous aspects of physiology (having a role in development, aging and apoptosis), but also in aspects of physiopathology of several degenerative affections, autoimmune diseases, oncologic diseases – having an important part in apoptosis, necrosis and also inflammation.

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