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Novel discovery by Einstein scientists could lead to much-needed kidney failure treatment
Date:3/12/2008

>When comparing biopsy samples from healthy kidneys and kidneys from people with DNP and FSGS, the researchers found evidence that the Notch pathway was active in diseased but not in healthy kidneys.

  • The researchers bred a strain of mice in which they could specifically activate the Notch pathway within podocytes. Examination revealed that the podocytes in these mice underwent programmed cell death, and the mice themselves died from end-stage renal failure.

  • After inducing glomerular disease in mice by injecting them with a toxic chemical, the researchers were able to protect the rats from developing kidney disease by injecting them with a gamma secretase inhibitorone of a class of compounds known to shut off the Notch pathway.

    An exciting aspect of this new work is the therapeutic implications, according to a Nature Medicine commentary on the Einstein study written by kidney experts from the University of Michigan Medical Center. The experts noted that gamma secretase inhibitors, like the one that protected the mice from kidney disease in this study, are already in phase 1 and 2 clinical trials for treating diseases including Alzheimers and leukemia. The Einstein findings, they wrote, provide some hope that researchers in the field of kidney disease can reverse the grim record of the last 20 years during which no new therapeutic agent has been successfully implemented for treating end-stage kidney disease.


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  • Contact: Karen Gardner
    kgardner@aecom.yu.edu
    718-430-3101
    Albert Einstein College of Medicine
    Source:Eurekalert

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