A small-molecule inhibitor of TRPC5 ion channels suppresses progressive kidney disease in animal models

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Science  08 Dec 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6368, pp. 1332-1336
DOI: 10.1126/science.aal4178

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Gaining a foothold on kidney disease?

The leading cause of kidney disease worldwide is known as focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). FSGS is associated with loss of podocytes, an unusual cell type critical for the kidney's blood filtration function. Podocytes form interdigitating foot processes that wrap around capillaries and prevent leakage of plasma proteins into urine (proteinuria). Zhou et al. suppressed proteinuria by preventing podocyte loss in two different rat models of kidney disease, using a compound that selectively inhibits the TRPC5 ion channel (see the Perspective by Chung and Shaw). In short-term studies, this compound had no detectable side effects. Thus, TRPC5 inhibitors may merit exploration as a therapy for progressive kidney disease.

Science, this issue p. 1332; see also p. 1256