Carnosine (beta-alanyl-L-histidine) is an endogenously synthesised
dipeptide which is present in different human tissues e.g. in the kidney.
Carnosine is degraded by enzyme serum carnosinase, encoding by CNDP1 gene.
Carnosine is engaged in different metabolic pathways in the kidney. It
reduces the level of proinflammatory and profibrotic cytokines, inhibits
advanced glycation end products formation and moreover it decreases the
mesangial cell proliferation. Carnosine may also serve as a scavenger of
peroxyl and hydroxyl radicals and a natural angiotensin converting enzyme
This review summarizes the results of experimental and human studies
concerning the role of carnosine in kidney diseases, particularly in chronic
kidney disease, ischemia/reperfusion induced acute renal failure, diabetic
nephropathy and also drug-induced nephrotoxicity. The interplay between
serum carnosine concentration and serum carnosinase activity and
polymorphism in the CNDP1 gene is discussed.
Carnosine has renoprotective properties. It has a promising potential for
the treatment and prevention of different kidney diseases, particularly
chronic kidney disease which is a global public health issue. Further
studies of carnosine role in kidney may offer innovative and effective
strategies for management of kidney diseases.
Keywords: carnosine, serum carnosinase, CNDP1 gene, chronic kidney disease,
diabetic nephropathy, renoprotection
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