This study was performed to examine the effects of long-term caffeine-intake, with and without exercise, on the progression of diabetic nephropathy (DN) in an obese diabetic rat model. Thirty-two male Otsuka Long Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) rats were assigned to sedentary (OLETF-Sed), exercise (OLETF-Ex), caffeine-intake (OLETF-Caf), and combined (OLETF-Caf & Ex) groups. Caffeine-intake groups were fed rat chow containing caffeine (90.7 ± 4.7 mg/kg/day). The OLETF-Ex and OLETF-Caf & Ex groups were able to run voluntarily at any time using a rotatory wheel. Body weight (BW) and blood pressure (BP) were measured weekly from 24 to 29 weeks of age. Pre- and post-treatment serum glucose, insulin, and creatinine concentrations were measured, and a 24 h urine sample was collected for measurement of creatinine clearance (Ccr) and albumin excretion (UEAlb). After treatment, the kidneys were removed for morphological analysis. The OLETF-Caf and OLETF-Caf & Ex groups exhibited no BP increase during the study. Both the caffeine-intake groups exhibited a significant increase in urine volume (UV), electrolyte excretion, and Ccr, and decreased UEAlb, following treatment. Furthermore, no structural damage was observed in the kidneys of rats from either caffeine-intake group, whereas the OLETF-Sed and OLETF-Ex groups exhibited DN progression. This study demonstrates that caffeine-intake alone and/or combined with exercise significantly decreases BW and improves glucose intolerance, without the progression of DN. Further research should be performed to examine whether the quantities of caffeine contained in a normal human daily intake also have a protective effect against kidney damage.
- diabetic nephropathy
- renal function
- urinary albumin
- Copyright © 2016, Journal of Applied Physiology