J Korean Med Sci.  2020 Sep;35(36):e305. 10.3346/jkms.2020.35.e305.

Beneficial Effect of Chloroquine and Amodiaquine on Type 1 Diabetic Tubulopathy by Attenuating Mitochondrial Nox4 and Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, CHA Bundang Medical Center, CHA University, Seongnam, Korea
  • 2Genomics Core Facility, Department of Transdisciplinary Research and Collaboration, Biomedical Research Institute, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Department of Internal Medicine, Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong, Kyung Hee University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


Oxidative stress induced by chronic hyperglycemia is recognized as a significant mechanistic contributor to the development of diabetic kidney disease (DKD). Nonphagocytic nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase 4 (Nox4) is a major source of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in many cell types and in the kidney tissue of diabetic animals. We designed this study to explore the therapeutic potential of chloroquine (CQ) and amodiaquine (AQ) for inhibiting mitochondrial Nox4 and diabetic tubular injury.
Human renal proximal tubular epithelial cells (hRPTCs) were cultured in highglucose media (30 mM D-glucose), and diabetes was induced with streptozotocin (STZ, 50 mg/kg i.p. for 5 days) in male C57BL/6J mice. CQ and AQ were administered to the mice via intraperitoneal injection for 14 weeks.
CQ and AQ inhibited mitochondrial Nox4 and increased mitochondrial mass in hRPTCs under high-glucose conditions. Reduced mitochondrial ROS production after treatment with the drugs resulted in decreased endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, suppressed inflammatory protein expression and reduced cell apoptosis in hRPTCs under high-glucose conditions. Notably, CQ and AQ treatment diminished Nox4 activation and ER stress in the kidneys of STZ-induced diabetic mice. In addition, we observed attenuated inflammatory protein expression and albuminuria in STZ-induced diabetic mice after CQ and AQ treatment.
We substantiated the protective actions of CQ and AQ in diabetic tubulopathy associated with reduced mitochondrial Nox4 activation and ER stress alleviation. Further studies exploring the roles of mitochondrial Nox4 in the pathogenesis of DKD could suggest new therapeutic targets for patients with DKD.


Amodiaquine; Chloroquine; Diabetic Tubulopathy; Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress; Mitochondria; Nox4
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