Renal-Protective Roles of Lipoic Acid in Kidney Disease




Kamt, Sulin F.
Liu, Jiankang
Yan, Liang-Jun


0000-0002-5815-5430 (Yan, Liang-Jun)

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The kidney is a crucial organ that eliminates metabolic waste and reabsorbs nutritious elements. It also participates in the regulation of blood pressure, maintenance of electrolyte balance and blood pH homeostasis, as well as erythropoiesis and vitamin D maturation. Due to such a heavy workload, the kidney is an energy-demanding organ and is constantly exposed to endogenous and exogenous insults, leading to the development of either acute kidney injury (AKI) or chronic kidney disease (CKD). Nevertheless, there are no therapeutic managements to treat AKI or CKD effectively. Therefore, novel therapeutic approaches for fighting kidney injury are urgently needed. This review article discusses the role of alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) in preventing and treating kidney diseases. We focus on various animal models of kidney injury by which the underlying renoprotective mechanisms of ALA have been unraveled. The animal models covered include diabetic nephropathy, sepsis-induced kidney injury, renal ischemic injury, unilateral ureteral obstruction, and kidney injuries induced by folic acid and metals such as cisplatin, cadmium, and iron. We highlight the common mechanisms of ALA's renal protective actions that include decreasing oxidative damage, increasing antioxidant capacities, counteracting inflammation, mitigating renal fibrosis, and attenuating nephron cell death. It is by these mechanisms that ALA achieves its biological function of alleviating kidney injury and improving kidney function. Nevertheless, we also point out that more comprehensive, preclinical, and clinical studies will be needed to make ALA a better therapeutic agent for targeting kidney disorders.



Kamt, S. F., Liu, J., & Yan, L. J. (2023). Renal-Protective Roles of Lipoic Acid in Kidney Disease. Nutrients, 15(7), 1732.


© 2023 by the authors.


Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)