Diabetic nephropathy is one of the major causes of kidney failure, accounting for ~44% of
all cases. In spite of the significant mortality rate of diabetic nephropathy, specific and effective
treatment is still eluding. Identification of genetic determinants and understanding their role in the
progression of disease are essential for developing diagnostic tools and effective therapy. Drosophila
melanogaster is a genetically tractable model organism and is being used for understanding the genetic
basis of several human diseases. Drosophila has a well developed renal system and shares conserved
developmental and functional processes with humans. Apart from similarities in renal system,
type 1 and type 2 diabetes can be induced in Drosophila following mechanisms similar to those in
human. This review discusses the current therapies available for diabetic nephropathy and examines
the potential of Drosophila renal system as a model for identifying drug targets for diabetic nephropathy
and screening of the potential drugs for their efficacy.
Keywords: Diabetic nephropathy, Drosophila melanogaster, podocytes, nephrocytes, Drosophila renal organ, therapeutic agents.
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