Background: The relation between insulin resistance and atherosclerosis is widely recognized, but it remains unknown whether glucose metabolism/insulin resistance is related to renal pathology in humans. Methods: We quantitatively evaluated pathological changes in the glomeruli, tubulointerstitium, and vessels in renal biopsy specimens from 23 patients with non-diabetic chronic kidney disease (CKD), all of whom took a 75-gram oral glucose tolerance test. We correlated the renal pathological changes with fasting plasma glucose (FPG), fasting plasma insulin, 2-hour plasma glucose (2-h PG), 2-hour plasma insulin (2-h PI), homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), and body mass index. Results: HOMA-IR exceeded 1.73 in 11 patients (47.8%), and 2-h PI exceeded 64.0 µU/ml in 14 (60.9%). FPG significantly correlated with interstitial fibrosis (r = 0.532, p = 0.009). The significance was marginal in the correlation between FPG and tubular atrophy and arterio-arteriolosclerosis. Statistically significant correlation was also found between 2-h PG and arterio-arteriolosclerosis (r = 0.422, p = 0.04) and between HOMA-IR and interstitial fibrosis (r = 0.416, p = 0.04). Conclusion: Although precise mechanisms remain unknown, glucose metabolism/insulin resistance seem to play pathogenic roles in formation and progression of renal pathological changes, especially tubulointerstitial and vascular lesions, in non-diabetic CKD.

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