Oxidative stress and abnormal lipid metabolism in diabetes can trigger renal lipotoxicity, extending to diabetic nephropathy. Vitamin D has been known to be involved in lipid metabolism as well as insulin secretion or inflammation. Therefore, we hypothesized that vitamin D supplementation attenuated hyperglycemia-induced renal damage in diabetic mice. Diabetes was induced by a 40% kJ high-fat diet with 30 mg/kg body weight of streptozotocin by intraperitoneal injection twice in male C57BL/6J mice. Among diabetic mice (fasting blood glucose > 140 mg/dL), mice were supplemented with 300 ng/kg body weight of vitamin D dissolved in olive oil for 12 weeks. Normal control and diabetic control mice were orally administrated with olive oil as a vehicle. Normal control mice were fed with an AIN-93G diet during the experiment. Vitamin D supplementation in diabetic mice improved glucose intolerance and kidney function, demonstrated by diminishing glomerular areas. Vitamin D supplementation in diabetic mice significantly reduced triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in plasma as well as triglycerides and total cholesterol in the kidney. Furthermore, vitamin D supplementation attenuated lipid synthesis, oxidative stress, and apoptosis, accompanied by activation of β-oxidation, antioxidant defense enzymes, and autophagy in diabetic mice. In conclusion, vitamin D supplementation ameliorates hyperglycemia-induced renal damage through the regulation of lipid metabolisms, oxidative stress, apoptosis, and autophagy in diabetes. Vitamin D could be a promising nutrient to weaken diabetic nephropathy.
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