Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD + ) metabolism plays a critical role in kidneys. We previously reported that decreased secretion of a NAD + precursor, nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), from proximal tubules (PTs) can trigger diabetic albuminuria. In the present study, we investigated the role of NMN-producing enzyme nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (Nampt) in diabetic nephropathy. The expression of Nampt in PTs was downregulated in streptozotocin (STZ)-treated diabetic mice when they exhibited albuminuria. This albuminuria was ameliorated in PT-specific Nampt-overexpressing transgenic (TG) mice. PT-specific Nampt-conditional knockout (Nampt CKO) mice exhibited TBM thickening and collagen deposition, which were associated with the upregulation of the profibrogenic gene TIMP-1. Nampt CKO mice also exhibited the downregulation of sirtuins, particularly in Sirt6. PT-specific Sirt6-knockout mice exhibited enhanced fibrotic phenotype resembling that of Nampt CKO mice with increased Timp1 expression. In conclusion, the Nampt-Sirt6 axis in PTs serves as a key player in fibrogenic extracellular matrix remodeling in diabetic nephropathy. Muraoka et al. reveal that the Nampt-Sirt6 axis in proximal tubules serves as a key player in fibrogenic extracellular matrix remodeling in diabetic nephropathy.
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