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Concept: Polycystic kidney disease


Since the discovery that proteins mutated in different forms of polycystic kidney disease (PKD) are tightly associated with primary cilia, strong efforts have been made to define the role of this organelle in the pathogenesis of cyst formation. Cilia are filiform microtubular structures, anchored in the basal body and extending from the apical membrane into the tubular lumen. Early work established that cilia act as flow sensors, eliciting calcium transients in response to bending, which involve the two proteins mutated in autosomal dominant PKD (ADPKD), polycystin-1 and -2. Loss of cilia alone is insufficient to cause cyst formation. Nevertheless, a large body of evidence links flow sensing by cilia to aspects relevant for cyst formation such as cell polarity, Stat6- and mammalian target of rapamycin signalling. This review summarizes the current literature on cilia and flow sensing with respect to PKD and discusses how these findings intercalate with different aspects of cyst formation.

Concepts: Kidney, Cytoskeleton, Genetic disorder, Golgi apparatus, Immune system, Cilium, Cell, Polycystic kidney disease


Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is the most frequent genetic cause of renal failure. Here we identify miR-17 as a target for the treatment of ADPKD. We report that miR-17 is induced in kidney cysts of mouse and human ADPKD. Genetic deletion of the miR-17∼92 cluster inhibits cyst proliferation and PKD progression in four orthologous, including two long-lived, mouse models of ADPKD. Anti-miR-17 treatment attenuates cyst growth in short-term and long-term PKD mouse models. miR-17 inhibition also suppresses proliferation and cyst growth of primary ADPKD cysts cultures derived from multiple human donors. Mechanistically, c-Myc upregulates miR-17∼92 in cystic kidneys, which in turn aggravates cyst growth by inhibiting oxidative phosphorylation and stimulating proliferation through direct repression of Pparα. Thus, miR-17 family is a promising drug target for ADPKD, and miR-17-mediated inhibition of mitochondrial metabolism represents a potential new mechanism for ADPKD progression.

Concepts: Chromosome, Chronic kidney disease, Mitochondrion, Adenosine triphosphate, DNA, Oxidative phosphorylation, Kidney, Polycystic kidney disease


Background In a previous trial involving patients with early autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD; estimated creatinine clearance, ≥60 ml per minute), the vasopressin V2-receptor antagonist tolvaptan slowed the growth in total kidney volume and the decline in the estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR) but also caused more elevations in aminotransferase and bilirubin levels. The efficacy and safety of tolvaptan in patients with later-stage ADPKD are unknown. Methods We conducted a phase 3, randomized withdrawal, multicenter, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial. After an 8-week prerandomization period that included sequential placebo and tolvaptan run-in phases, during which each patient’s ability to take tolvaptan without dose-limiting side effects was assessed, 1370 patients with ADPKD who were either 18 to 55 years of age with an estimated GFR of 25 to 65 ml per minute per 1.73 m(2) of body-surface area or 56 to 65 years of age with an estimated GFR of 25 to 44 ml per minute per 1.73 m(2) were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive tolvaptan or placebo for 12 months. The primary end point was the change in the estimated GFR from baseline to follow-up, with adjustment for the exact duration that each patient participated (interpolated to 1 year). Safety assessments were conducted monthly. Results The change from baseline in the estimated GFR was -2.34 ml per minute per 1.73 m(2) (95% confidence interval [CI], -2.81 to -1.87) in the tolvaptan group, as compared with -3.61 ml per minute per 1.73 m(2) (95% CI, -4.08 to -3.14) in the placebo group (difference, 1.27 ml per minute per 1.73 m(2); 95% CI, 0.86 to 1.68; P<0.001). Elevations in the alanine aminotransferase level (to >3 times the upper limit of the normal range) occurred in 38 of 681 patients (5.6%) in the tolvaptan group and in 8 of 685 (1.2%) in the placebo group. Elevations in the aminotransferase level were reversible after stopping tolvaptan. No elevations in the bilirubin level of more than twice the upper limit of the normal range were detected. Conclusions Tolvaptan resulted in a slower decline than placebo in the estimated GFR over a 1-year period in patients with later-stage ADPKD. (Funded by Otsuka Pharmaceuticals and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development and Commercialization; REPRISE number, NCT02160145 .).

Concepts: Nephrology, Blood urea nitrogen, Normal distribution, Placebo, Kidney, Renal function, Renal physiology, Polycystic kidney disease


Background The course of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is often associated with pain, hypertension, and kidney failure. Preclinical studies indicated that vasopressin V(2)-receptor antagonists inhibit cyst growth and slow the decline of kidney function. Methods In this phase 3, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 3-year trial, we randomly assigned 1445 patients, 18 to 50 years of age, who had ADPKD with a total kidney volume of 750 ml or more and an estimated creatinine clearance of 60 ml per minute or more, in a 2:1 ratio to receive tolvaptan, a V(2)-receptor antagonist, at the highest of three twice-daily dose regimens that the patient found tolerable, or placebo. The primary outcome was the annual rate of change in the total kidney volume. Sequential secondary end points included a composite of time to clinical progression (defined as worsening kidney function, kidney pain, hypertension, and albuminuria) and rate of kidney-function decline. Results Over a 3-year period, the increase in total kidney volume in the tolvaptan group was 2.8% per year (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.5 to 3.1), versus 5.5% per year in the placebo group (95% CI, 5.1 to 6.0; P<0.001). The composite end point favored tolvaptan over placebo (44 vs. 50 events per 100 follow-up-years, P=0.01), with lower rates of worsening kidney function (2 vs. 5 events per 100 person-years of follow-up, P<0.001) and kidney pain (5 vs. 7 events per 100 person-years of follow-up, P=0.007). Tolvaptan was associated with a slower decline in kidney function (reciprocal of the serum creatinine level, -2.61 [mg per milliliter](-1) per year vs. -3.81 [mg per milliliter](-1) per year; P<0.001). There were fewer ADPKD-related adverse events in the tolvaptan group but more events related to aquaresis (excretion of electrolyte-free water) and hepatic adverse events unrelated to ADPKD, contributing to a higher discontinuation rate (23%, vs. 14% in the placebo group). Conclusions Tolvaptan, as compared with placebo, slowed the increase in total kidney volume and the decline in kidney function over a 3-year period in patients with ADPKD but was associated with a higher discontinuation rate, owing to adverse events. (Funded by Otsuka Pharmaceuticals and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development and Commercialization; TEMPO 3:4 number, NCT00428948 .).

Concepts: Blood urea nitrogen, Hypertension, Renal failure, Clinical trial, Nephrology, Renal physiology, Kidney, Polycystic kidney disease


To evaluate the efficacy and safety of single-session percutaneous needle aspiration and single-injection bleomycin sclerotherapy for the treatment of simple renal cysts.

Concepts: Polycystic kidney disease


Background: Aeromonas species can cause various infections including bacteremia, gastroenteritis, cholangitis, and wound infections. To date, most studies on Aeromonas species have been reported from countries other than Japan. The aim of this study, therefore, was to evaluate Aeromonas bacteremia in Japan. Methods: We reviewed the medical records of patients with Aeromonas bacteremia from January 1994 to December 2010 in Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, and Toranomon Hospital Kajigaya, Kanagawa, Japan. Results: Thirty-six cases of Aeromonas bacteremia were identified. Of these 36 strains, 18 were Aeromonas caviae, 13 were Aeromonas hydrophila, and 5 were Aeromonas veronii biovar sobria. The underlying diseases were solid tumor (21 cases), chronic hepatic disease (13 cases), diabetes mellitus (9 cases), hematological malignancies (4 cases), autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (2 cases), and aplastic anemia (2 cases). Patients with a solid tumor more frequently presented with A. caviae bacteremia than non-A. caviae bacteremia (14/18 vs 7/18; p = 0.041). Additionally, 16 of the 36 episodes were polymicrobial, and of these, 12 had stenosis or stasis of the bile duct or pancreatic duct (75%). The overall 30-day mortality was 19%. Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report to identify A. caviae as the most frequent causative pathogen of Aeromonas bacteremia in Japan. Additionally, compared with previous studies, most patients in our study had solid tumors. These findings suggest that the characteristics of Aeromonas bacteremia vary among study populations.

Concepts: Aeromonas hydrophila, Liver, Neoplasm, Oncology, Tumor, Polycystic kidney disease, Aeromonas, Cancer


Autosomal-dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) affects up to 12 million individuals and is the fourth most common cause for renal replacement therapy worldwide. There have been many recent advances in the understanding of its molecular genetics and biology, and in the diagnosis and management of its manifestations. Yet, diagnosis, evaluation, prevention, and treatment vary widely and there are no broadly accepted practice guidelines. Barriers to translation of basic science breakthroughs to clinical care exist, with considerable heterogeneity across countries. The Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes Controversies Conference on ADPKD brought together a panel of multidisciplinary clinical expertise and engaged patients to identify areas of consensus, gaps in knowledge, and research and health-care priorities related to diagnosis; monitoring of kidney disease progression; management of hypertension, renal function decline and complications; end-stage renal disease; extrarenal complications; and practical integrated patient support. These are summarized in this review.Kidney International advance online publication, 18 March 2015; doi:10.1038/ki.2015.59.

Concepts: Renal physiology, Erythropoietin, Renin, Chronic kidney disease, Renal failure, Nephrology, Kidney, Polycystic kidney disease


Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is marked by gradual renal cyst and kidney enlargement and ultimately renal failure. Magnetic resonance-based, height-adjusted total kidney volume (htTKV) over 600 cc/m predicts the development of CKD stage 3 within 8 years in the Consortium for Radiologic Imaging in Polycystic Kidney Disease cohort. Here we compared simultaneous ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging to determine whether ultrasound and kidney length (KL) predict future CKD stage 3 over longer periods of follow-up. A total of 241 ADPKD patients, 15-46 years, with creatinine clearance of 70 ml/min and above had iothalamate clearance, magnetic resonance, and ultrasound evaluations. Participants underwent an average of five repeat clearance measurements over a mean follow-up of 9.3 years. Ultrasound and magnetic resonance-based TKV and KL were compared using Bland-Altman plots and intraclass correlations. Each measure was tested to predict future CKD stage 3. Relatively strong intraclass correlations between ultrasound and magnetic resonance were found for both htTKV and KL (0.81 and 0.85, respectively). Ultrasound and magnetic resonance-based htTKV and KL predicted future CKD stage 3 similarly (AUC of 0.87, 0.88, 0.87, and 0.88, respectively). An ultrasound kidney length over 16.5 cm and htTKV over 650 ml/min had the best cut point for predicting the development of CKD stage 3. Thus, kidney length alone is sufficient to stratify the risk of progression to renal insufficiency early in ADPKD using either ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging.Kidney International advance online publication, 1 April 2015; doi:10.1038/ki.2015.71.

Concepts: Hypertension, Prediction, Magnetic resonance imaging, Renal failure, Nephrology, Polycystic kidney disease, Kidney, Chronic kidney disease


Transcatheter arterial embolization (TAE) has become a therapeutic option for symptomatic polycystic kidney disease (PKD) and polycystic liver disease (PLD). However, factors affecting survival with renal TAE remain unknown.

Concepts: Radiology, Medicine, Genetic disorder, Genetic disorders, Kidney, Polycystic kidney disease


The ankyrin repeat and sterile α motif (SAM) domain-containing six gene (Anks6) is a candidate for polycystic kidney disease (PKD). Originally identified in the PKD/Mhm(cy/+) rat model of PKD, the disease is caused by a mutation (R823W) in the SAM domain of the encoded protein. Recent studies support the etiological role of the ANKS6 SAM domain in human cystic diseases, but its function in kidney remains unknown. To investigate the role of ANKS6 in cyst formation, we screened an archive of N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea-treated mice and derived a strain carrying a missense mutation (I747N) within the SAM domain of ANKS6. This mutation is only six amino acids away from the PKD-causing mutation (R823W) in cy/+ rats. Evidence of renal cysts in these mice confirmed the crucial role of the SAM domain of ANKS6 in kidney function. Comparative phenotype analysis in cy/+ rats and our Anks6(I747N) mice further showed that the two models display noticeably different PKD phenotypes and that there is a defective interaction between ANKS6 with ANKS3 in the rat and between ANKS6 and BICC1 (bicaudal C homolog 1) in the mouse. Thus, our data demonstrate the importance of ANKS6 for kidney structure integrity and the essential mediating role of its SAM domain in the formation of protein complexes.Kidney International advance online publication, 3 June 2015; doi:10.1038/ki.2015.122.

Concepts: Sebaceous cyst, Mutation, Evolution, Mouse, Rat, Gene, Kidney, Polycystic kidney disease