• UCSB_GradPost twitter avatar
    Grad Students' Guide to a Successful Resume https://t.co/XA6OajtaJZ #UCSB
    4 hours 58 min ago
  • ArtsandLectures twitter avatar
    The @BanffMtnFest lineup is up! Here's the full list for Feb. 24, including Bluehue: https://t.co/5R91c7ItYm https://t.co/NVduem5pVl
    7 hours 59 min ago
  • ArtsandLectures twitter avatar
    The @BanffMtnFest lineup is up! Here's the full list for Feb. 23, including Climbing Ice: https://t.co/8VL9mAPi2O https://t.co/DOSTswtF0n
    8 hours 2 min ago
  • ucsantabarbara twitter avatar
    UCSB econ department has played a major role in helping graduating seniors find jobs. https://t.co/QvwiPfLa7U https://t.co/46pkwVEgtG
    8 hours 45 min ago
  • brenucsb twitter avatar
    RT @NOAADebris: Fishermen make most of closed crabbing season removing derelict pots: https://t.co/dnUPP7qdBO
    9 hours 46 min ago
  • brenucsb twitter avatar
    RT @jane_black: Crop insurance to ensure diversity. A new program moves ag in the right direction. https://t.co/uCHbJ5qKvv
    9 hours 50 min ago
  • ucsantabarbara twitter avatar
    @RaquelABC15 Great to have you back!
    10 hours 9 min ago
  • ucsantabarbara twitter avatar
    @JulieCohenUCSB Thanks for sharing that, and for noting the spelling correction. Our apologies to Professor Lubin.
    10 hours 24 min ago
  • ucsantabarbara twitter avatar
    #UCSB #Physics professor Philip Lubin discusses his innovative work. https://t.co/fAZZVuNf9d
    10 hours 40 min ago
  • ArtsandLectures twitter avatar
    Discover the inestimable talent of @TaylorMacNYC through A 24-Decade History of Popular Music https://t.co/lephouCBDS
    10 hours 57 min ago
  • brenucsb twitter avatar
    Bren partner .@EDFOceans on territorial use rights fisheries (TURFs); sound mgt for local fisheries. https://t.co/9skTEYKAk1
    12 hours 46 min ago
  • ucsantabarbara twitter avatar
    Truly out of this world! #UCSB #Physics professor Phillip Dubin discusses his innovative concept. https://t.co/j4i1mUWLC0
    13 hours 11 min ago
  • brenucsb twitter avatar
    RT @NYTScience:Join 100,000+ people this Pres weekend to count millions of birds https://t.co/39QA1rPBM5
    13 hours 46 min ago
  • ucsantabarbara twitter avatar
    #UCSB physicist explains how math used in sewing & knitting also describes cosmic curvature in theory of relativity. https://t.co/5kXO45Wus2
    14 hours 16 min ago
  • brenucsb twitter avatar
    RT @Interior: .@POTUS protects #California desert w/ 3 new national monuments #FindYourPark https://t.co/1Gm1GW6UWm
    14 hours 46 min ago

Scientists Make Strides Toward Drug Therapy for Inherited Kidney Disease

Thursday, October 27, 2011 - 17:00
Santa Barbara, CA

Scientists at UC Santa Barbara have discovered that patients with an inherited kidney disease may be helped by a drug that is currently available for other uses. The findings are published in this week's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Over 600,000 people in the U.S., and 12 million worldwide, are affected by the inherited kidney disease known as autosomal-dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). The disease is characterized by the proliferation of thousands of cysts that eventually debilitate the kidneys, causing kidney failure in half of all patients by the time they reach age 50. ADPKD is one of the leading causes of renal failure in the U.S.

"Currently, no treatment exists to prevent or slow cyst formation, and most ADPKD patients require kidney transplants or lifelong dialysis for survival," said Thomas Weimbs, director of the laboratory at UCSB where the discovery was made. Weimbs is an associate professor in the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, and in the Neuroscience Research Institute at UCSB.

Recent work in the Weimbs laboratory has revealed a key difference between kidney cysts and normal kidney tissue. They found that the STAT6 signaling pathway –– previously thought to be mainly important in immune cells –– is activated in kidney cysts, while it is dormant in normal kidneys. Cystic kidney cells are locked in a state of continuous activation of this pathway, which leads to the excessive proliferation and cyst growth in ADPKD.

The drug Leflunomide, which is clinically approved for use in rheumatoid arthritis, has previously been shown to inhibit the STAT6 pathway in cells. Weimbs and his team found that Leflunomide is also highly effective in reducing kidney cyst growth in a mouse model of ADPKD.

"These results suggest that the STAT6 pathway is a promising drug target for possible future therapy of ADPKD," said Weimbs. "This possibility is particularly exciting because drugs that inhibit the STAT6 pathway already exist, or are in active development."

 

 


 

 

[RETURN TO TOP]  

 

 

Top image: A polycystic mouse kidney (left) is several times larger than a normal mouse kidney (right).

The tissue architecture of the diseased kidney is destroyed by the growth of numerous cysts.
Credit: Thomas Weimbs and Erin Olsan

 

 

†† Bottom image: Thomas Weimbs with images of mouse polycystic kidney sections.
Credit: George Foulsham, Office of Public Affairs, UCSB

 

Weimbs Laboratory

After reading this article I feel