Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects at least one in four Americans who are older than 60 and can significantly shorten lifespan. Yet the few available drugs for CKD can only modestly delay the disease’s progress towards kidney failure. Now, however, a team led by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, has found an aspect of CKD’s development that points to a promising new therapeutic strategy.
This is a representative multicolor image of a glomerulus, the filtering-unit cells of the kidney, from a Podocin-Confetti mouse. Podocytes, one of the most important cell types that form and maintain the kidney glomerular filter, are labeled in one of four colors, based on cell-specific expression of genetically encoded membrane-targeted receptors: CFP (blue), nuclear GFP (green), cytosolic YFP (yellow) or cytosolic RFP (red).
Credit: Images taken by Jianling Tao/Susztak lab, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.
Collaborating laboratories on the study included those of Kumar Sharma at the University of California, San Diego; James Pullman of the Montefiore Medical Center, New York; Erwin P. Bottinger of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; and Ira J. Goldberg of New York University’s Langone Medical Center.
Funding for Dr. Susztak’s research was provided by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (R01DK087635, R01DK076077) and the Diabetic Complications Consortium (DK076169).