This review focuses on the pathogenic role of sodium glucose cotransporter (SGLT)-2 in the development of renal dysfunction and heart failure in patients with diabetes, by emphasizing the concept of reno-cardiac syndrome (kidney injury worsens cardiac condition) and by substantiating the deleterious effect of sympathetic overdrive in this context. Furthermore, the review proposes a mechanistic hypothesis to explain the benefits of SGLT2 inhibitors, specifically that SGLT-2 inhibitors reduce sympathetic activation at the renal level. To illustrate this point, several examples from both animal experiments and clinical observations are introduced. The bidirectional interaction of the heart and kidney were deeply implicated as an exacerbator of heart failure and renal failure without diabetes. Renal cortical ischemia and abnormal glucose metabolism of tubular epithelial cells are likely to exist as common pathologies in nondiabetic heart failure patients. It is no wonder why SGLT-2 inhibitors are specifically being studied even in the absence of diabetes, both for heart failure and also for renal failure.
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