A team of researchers led by scientists from Perelman School of Medicine at University of Pennsylvania has found that defective fatty acid metabolism in kidney tubular epithelial cells plays a key role in the development of fibrosis and chronic kidney disease. Genetic analysis of healthy and fibrotic human kidney tissue led to their discovery of anomalies linked to inflammation and energy metabolism in the disease state. They found that reducing fatty acid metabolism in human tubular epithelial cells led to signs of fibrosis. They were able to reverse fibrosis in mice by restoring fatty acid metabolism, using drugs as well as genetic methods. The scientists want to find drugs to restore energy production in human cells, in the hopes of preventing fibrosis and slowing progression of CKD.
Penn Study Points to New Therapeutic Strategy in Chronic Kidney Disease, Penn Medicine, December 1, 2014