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08-09-2018 | Nephropathy | Review | Article

Metabolic Abnormalities in Diabetes and Kidney Disease: Role of Uremic Toxins

Current Diabetes Reports

Authors: Laetitia Koppe, Denis Fouque, Christophe O. Soulage

Publisher: Springer US


Purpose of Review

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is characterized by the accumulation of uremic retention solutes (URS) and is associated with perturbations of glucose homeostasis even in absence of diabetes. The underlying mechanisms of insulin resistance, β cell failure, and increase risk of diabetes in CKD, however, remain unclear. Metabolomic studies reported that some metabolites are similar in CKD and diabetic kidney disease (DKD) and contribute to the progression to end-stage renal disease. We attempted to discuss the mechanisms involved in the disruption of carbohydrate metabolism in CKD by focusing on the specific role of URS.

Recent Findings

Recent clinical data have demonstrated a defect of insulin secretion in CKD. Several studies highlighted the direct role of some URS (urea, trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), p-cresyl sulfate, 3-carboxylic acid 4-methyl-5-propyl-2-furan propionic (CMPF)) in glucose homeostasis abnormalities and diabetes incidence.


Gut dysbiosis has been identified as a potential contributor to diabetes and to the production of URS. The complex interplay between the gut microbiota, kidney, pancreas β cell, and peripheral insulin target tissues has brought out new hypotheses for the pathogenesis of CKD and DKD. The characterization of intestinal microbiota and its associated metabolites are likely to fill fundamental knowledge gaps leading to innovative research, clinical trials, and new treatments for CKD and DKD.

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