Finding New Ways to Treat Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney disease is caused by many factors, including diabetes, hypertension, autoimmune disorders and others. Chronic kidney disease affects millions of people in the U.S. and worldwide, however current treatments are not highly effective. Research in the Kohan lab, using genetically engineered mice, has helped identify the peptide, endothelin-1, and its receptor, ETA, as key regulators of blood pressure and kidney function in health. They have also helped determine that kidney ET-1 production is increased in many kidney diseases and, via activation of ETA receptors on most kidney cell types, leads to inflammation, scarring and decreased kidney function, They have translated these studies, together with national and international colleagues, into clinical trials demonstrating that ETA receptor inhibition protects kidney function in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus. These trials with ETA receptor antagonists are now being extended into other forms of kidney disease, including focal segmental glomerulosclerosis and IgA nephropathy. Thus, targeting the endothelin-1/ETA receptor system represents a promising approach to the treatment of chronic kidney disease.Text Continue reading → Finding New Ways to Treat Kidney Disease

(Pro)Renin Receptor: A Novel Target for Hypertension, Kidney Disease, and Metabolic Syndrome

The enzyme renin plays a role in the development of hypertension (high blood pressure), cardiovascular disease, and kidney disease. Studies in mice and rats unexpectedly uncovered other biological activities of the receptor for renin and its precursor, (pro)renin receptor (PRR). University of Utah Health researcher Tianxin Yang, MD, PhD, and colleagues have made a series of new discoveries about the function of PRR. They demonstrated that PRR activation stimulates sodium and water retention by the kidney, causing hypertension; over-activation of PRR also causes kidney damage. Targeting this pathway with a compound that blocks PRR is highly effective in treating hypertension and chronic kidney disease in rodents. Continue reading → (Pro)Renin Receptor: A Novel Target for Hypertension, Kidney Disease, and Metabolic Syndrome