Glomerular podocytes are highly differentiated cells that cover glomerular capillaries from the outside and have a characteristic morphology with numerous foot processes. The formation of slit membranes between the foot processes serves as a final filtration barrier for urine filtration from the blood. Podocyte damage causes disruption of the slit membrane, subsequent proteinuria and finally glomerulosclerosis, which is a common pathway in various types of chronic kidney disease (CKD). In recent years, there has been an increase in diabetes, due to rapid lifestyle changes, which is the main cause of CKD. Therefore, understanding the effect of diabetic status on podocytes is of great importance to establish a strategy for preventing CKD progression. In this review, we summarize altered glucose and lipid metabolism in diabetic podocytes and also discuss the reversibility of the changes in podocyte phenotype.
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