Abstract:                                                                                                                                     The effects of overexpression of Cu(2+)/Zn(2+) superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD-1) on indexes of renal injury were compared in 5-month-old nontransgenic (NTg) db/db mice and db/db mice hemizygous for the human SOD-1 transgene (SOD-Tg). Both diabetic groups exhibited similar hyperglycemia and weight gain. However, in NTg-db/db mice, albuminuria, glomerular accumulation of immunoreactive transforming growth factor-beta, collagen alpha1 (IV), nitrotyrosine, and mesangial matrix were all significantly increased compared with either nondiabetic mice or SOD-Tg-db/db. SOD-1 activity and reduced glutathione levels were higher, whereas malondialdehyde content was lower, in the renal cortex of SOD-Tg-db/db compared with NTg-db/db mice, consistent with a renal antioxidant effect in the transgenic mice. Inulin clearance (C(IN)) and urinary excretion of guanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (U(cGMP)) were increased in SOD-Tg-db/db mice compared with corresponding values in nondiabetic mice or NTg-db/db mice. C(IN) and U(cGMP) were suppressed by Nomega-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester in SOD-Tg-db/db but not in NTg-db/db mice, implying nitric oxide (NO) dependence of these increases and enhanced renal NO bioactivity in SOD-Tg-db/db. Studies of NO-responsive cGMP in isolated glomeruli supported greater quenching of NO in glomeruli from NTg-db/db compared with SOD-Tg-db/db mice. Evidence of increased NO responsiveness and the suppression of glomerular nitrotyrosine may both reflect reduced NO-superoxide interaction in SOD-Tg-db/db mice. The results implicate superoxide in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy