Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is the leading cause of kidney failure, with an increasing incidence worldwide. Mitochondrial dysfunction is known to occur in DN and has been implicated in the underlying pathogenesis of disease. These complex organelles have an array of important cellular functions and involvement in signaling pathways, and understanding the intricacies of these responses in health, as well as how they are damaged in disease, is likely to highlight novel therapeutic avenues. A key cell type damaged early in DN is the podocyte, and increasing studies have focused on investigating the role of mitochondria in podocyte injury. This review will summarize what is known about podocyte mitochondrial dynamics in DN, with a particular focus on bioenergetic pathways, highlighting key studies in this field and potential opportunities to target, enhance or protect podocyte mitochondrial function in the treatment of DN.
- Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental/metabolism
- Diabetic Nephropathies/metabolism
- Energy Metabolism
- Mitochondrial Dynamics
- Signal Transduction
- Stress, Physiological