Since there is crosstalk in functions of the heart and kidney, acute or chronic injury in one of the two organs provokes adaptive and/or maladaptive responses in both organs, leading to cardiorenal syndrome (CRS). Acute kidney injury (AKI) induced by acute heart failure is referred to as type 1 CRS, and a frequent cause of this type of CRS is acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Diabetes mellitus increases the risk of AMI and also the risk of AKI of various causes. However, there have been only a few studies in which animal models of diabetes were used to examine how diabetes modulates AMI-induced AKI. In this review, we summarize findings regarding the mechanisms of type 1 CRS and the impact of diabetes on both AMI and renal susceptibility to AKI and we discuss mechanisms by which diabetes modulates AMI-induced AKI. Hemodynamic alterations induced by AMI could be augmented by diabetes via its detrimental effect on infarct size and contractile function of the non-infarcted region in the heart. Diabetes increases susceptibility of renal cells to hypoxia and oxidative stress by modulation of signaling pathways that regulate cell survival and autophagy. Recent studies have shown that diabetes mellitus even at early stage of cardiomyopathy/nephropathy predisposes the kidney to AMI-induced AKI, in which activation of toll-like receptors and reactive oxygen species derived from NADPH oxidases are involved. Further analysis of crosstalk between diabetic cardiomyopathy and diabetic kidney disease is necessary for obtaining a more comprehensive understanding of modulation of the AMI-AKI axis by diabetes.
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