12 November 2010

Common diabetes drug may halt growth of cysts in polycystic kidney disease

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Researchers report that a drug commonly used to treat diabetes may also retard the growth of fluid-filled cysts of the most common genetic disorder, polycystic kidney disease

PKD does not discriminate by gender or race and affects one in 1,000 adults worldwide. Researchers from the schools of Science and Medicine at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and colleagues from the Mayo Clinic report this month in the online peer-reviewed journal PPAR Research that pioglitazone appears to control the growth of PKD cysts.

Using a rat model that has the same genetic mutation as a form of human PKD, the two research groups independently tested a pioglitazone treatment regimen and found that it slowed down both kidney and liver cyst growth by inhibiting a chloride channel in the cells of these organs.

Normally pioglitazone works by making the body more sensitive to its own insulin. However, in studying why this class of drugs causes fluid retention, Bonnie L. Blazer-Yost, Ph.D., professor of biology at the IUPUI School of Science and corresponding author of the new study, serendipitously found that it also inhibits a chloride channel.

(e! Science News)

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