Erythromycin ameliorates renal injury via anti-inflammatory effects in experimental diabetic rats

A. Tone, K. Shikata, M. Sasaki, S. Ohga, K. Yozai, S. Nishishita, H. Usui, R. Nagase, D. Ogawa, S. Okada, Y. Shikata, J. Wada, H. Makino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Aims/hypothesis: Recent studies have shown that the inflammatory process is involved in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy. Fourteen-membered ring macrolides, including erythromycin, have anti-inflammatory, as well as antibacterial effects. The aim of this study was to investigate the renoprotective effects of erythromycin in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats. Methods: STZ-induced diabetic rats were treated orally with erythromycin (5 mg/kg body weight) or vehicle every day for 8 weeks. To evaluate the effect of erythromycin treatment, we measured urinary albumin excretion, and examined the following in the kidney: histological changes, the expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), macrophage infiltration, and nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) activity. Results: Erythromycin significantly reduced urinary albumin excretion without affecting blood glucose levels and blood pressure. Erythromycin also attenuated glomerular hypertrophy, mesangial expansion, macrophage infiltration and ICAM-1 expression in renal tissues. The expression of the gene encoding TGFB1 (also known as TGF-β1), type IV collagen protein production and NF-κB activity in renal tissues were increased in diabetic rats and reduced by erythromycin treatment. Conclusions/interpretation: Erythromycin prevented renal injuries without changes of blood glucose levels and blood pressure in experimental diabetic rats. These results suggest that the renoprotective effects of erythromycin are based on its anti-inflammatory effect via suppression of NF-κB activation. Modulation of microinflammation with erythromycin may provide a new approach for diabetic nephropathy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2402-2411
Number of pages10
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2005


  • Anti-inflammatory effect
  • Diabetic nephropathy
  • Erythromycin
  • ICAM-1
  • Inflammation
  • Macrolide
  • Macrophage
  • NF-κB
  • TGF-β
  • Type IV collagen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


Dive into the research topics of 'Erythromycin ameliorates renal injury via anti-inflammatory effects in experimental diabetic rats'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this