Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is characterized by the growth of numerous cysts in the kidneys. When cysts form in the kidneys, they are filled with fluid. PKD cysts can profoundly enlarge the kidneys while replacing much of the normal structure, resulting in reduced kidney function and leading to kidney failure. Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is a hereditary disease that occurs in one out of 1000 humans. PKD and its causes are being dissected through studies of human populations and through the use of animal models. Mouse models in particular have made a substantial contribution to our understanding of the gene pathways involved in the pathogenesis and the nature of signaling molecules that act in a tissue-specific manner at critical stages of cyst development. PKD has a number of characteristics that make it uniquely challenging for the development of therapies to slowdown disease progression. This review provides current understanding of the etiopathology, pathways involved and therapeutic targets of PKDs.
Implication for health policy/practice/research/medical education:
Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is characterized by the growth of numerous fluid filled cysts in the kidneys. PKD cysts can profoundly enlarge the kidneys while replacing much of the normal structure, resulting in reduced renal function and leading to end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Given that currently, there are no active effective treatments for PKD, other than renal replacement therapy when indicated, the focus of scientists and clinicians ought for the development of therapies to slowdown disease progression. This review focuses on the current understanding of the pathways and therapeutic targets in PKD.
Please cite this paper as: Bhaskar LVKS, Elumalai R, Periasamy S. Pathways, perspectives and pursuits in polycystic kidney disease. J Nephropharmacol. 2016;5(1):41-48.