Introduction: Sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors such as empagliflozin (EMPA) protect against diabetic kidney disease. Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) the main renal product of cyclooxygenase-2, inhibits vasopressin (AVP)-water reabsorption in the collecting duct (CD). The novelty of this study is that for the first time, we examined if EMPA affects the renal PGE2/EP receptor system and determined if CD responses to EMPA prevent water loss.
Methods: Four groups of adult male mice were studied after 6 weeks of treatment: control (db/m), db/m+EMPA (10 mg/kg/day in chow), type 2 diabetic diabetic/dyslipidemia (db/db), and db/db+EMPA. Tubules were microdissected for quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and CD water transport was measured in response to AVP, with or without PGE2.
Results: Hyperglycemia and albuminuria were attenuated by EMPA. Renal mRNA expression for COX, PGE synthase, PGE2 (EP) receptor subtypes, CD AVP V2 receptors and aquaporin-2 was elevated in db/db mice, but unchanged by EMPA. Urine PGE2 levels increased in db/db but were unchanged by EMPA. AVP-water reabsorption was comparable in db/m and db/m+EMPA, and equally attenuated to 50% by PGE2. In db/db mice, AVP-water reabsorption was reduced by 50% compared to non-diabetic mice, and this reduction was unaffected by EMPA. In db/db mice, AVP-stimulated water transport was more significantly attenuated with PGE2 (62%), compared to non-diabetic mice, but this attenuation was reduced in response to EMPA, to 28%.
Conclusion: In summary, expression of renal PGE2/EP receptors is increased in db/db mice, and this expression is unaffected by EMPA. However, in diabetic CD, PGE2 caused a greater attenuation in AVP-stimulated water reabsorption, and this attenuation is reduced by EMPA. This suggests that EMPA attenuates diabetes-induced excess CD water loss.