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It is uncertain why only one third of Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetic patients develop nephropathy. One suggestion is the inheritance of a predisposition to essential hypertension. We have previously found elevated Na+/H+ antiport activity and a raised intracellular pH in leucocytes from hypertensive and Type 1 diabetic subjects with albuminuria using a novel double ionophore fluorimetric technique. These changes are not found in Type 1 diabetic subjects without albuminuria. We wished to test the effect of a protein kinase C inhibitor staurosporine (100 nmol/l) on the elevated antiport activity, and the degree of stimulation achieved by exogenous diacyl glycerol. Raised leucocyte Na+/H+ antiport activity of Type 1 diabetic subjects with albuminuria (73.8 +/- 17.2 mmol.l-1.min-1) was restored to normal levels with staurosporine (54.9 +/- 17.9 mmol.l-1.min-1, p less than 0.001). The leucocyte Na+/H+ antiport activity of diabetic subjects without albuminuria fell significantly also with staurosporine but to a lesser extent (57.3 +/- 11.6 to 50.0 +/- 12.8 mmol/l, p less than 0.003). In contrast, leucocytes from normal control subjects showed no change in antiport activity with staurosporine (54.3 +/- 8.5 to 52.6 +/- 10.4 mmol.l-1.min-1). Dioctanoyl glycerol stimulated the leucocyte Na+/H+ antiport in normal subjects and diabetic patients without albuminuria, with significantly less stimulation in diabetic patients with albuminuria. We conclude that reversal by staurosporine of the elevated Na+/H+ antiport activity in Type 1 diabetic subjects with albuminuria could indicate a role for protein kinase C in activating the antiport. This hypothesis is supported by the reduced stimulation of the antiport by dioctanoyl glycerol in this group of patients.


Journal article



Publication Date





278 - 284


Albuminuria, Alkaloids, Amiloride, Blood Glucose, Carrier Proteins, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1, Diabetic Nephropathies, Glycated Hemoglobin A, Humans, Hydrogen-Ion Concentration, In Vitro Techniques, Insulin, Kinetics, Leukocytes, Protein Kinase C, Sodium-Hydrogen Exchangers, Staurosporine