Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Potential drug therapy for kidney stones identified in mouse study

15.08.2014

Anyone who has suffered from kidney stones is keenly aware of the lack of drugs to treat the condition, which often causes excruciating pain.

A new mouse study, however, suggests that a class of drugs approved to treat leukemia and epilepsy also may be effective against kidney stones, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis report.


Wikimedia Commons, E.K. Kempf

Pictured is the surface of a kidney stone with calcium oxalate crystals.

The drugs are histone deacetylase inhibitors, or HDAC inhibitors for short. The researchers found that two of them — Vorinostat and trichostatin A — lower levels of calcium and magnesium in the urine. Both calcium and magnesium are key components of kidney stones.

The research is available online in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

“We’re hopeful this class of drugs can dissolve kidney stones because its effects on reducing calcium and magnesium are exclusive to kidney cells,” said senior author Jianghui Hou, PhD, assistant professor of medicine. “In the mice, we achieved dramatic effects at a fraction of the dosage used to treat leukemia and without significant side effects.”

Most kidney stones form when the urine becomes too concentrated, allowing calcium and magnesium to crystallize and stick together. Intense pain develops when stones get stuck in the urinary tract and block the flow of urine.

Diet can play a role in the condition. Not drinking enough water or eating a diet with too much salt, which promotes calcium to be released into the urine, increases the risk of stones. Some people also are genetically prone to developing kidney stones, and they naturally release too much calcium into the urine.

Typically, doctors recommend drinking lots of water to help pass kidney stones from the body. Thiazide, a type of drug used to treat high blood pressure, sometimes is prescribed to treat the stones because it reduces calcium in the urine. But the drug also increases magnesium in urine, countering its effectiveness against kidney stones.

In the new study, Hou and his colleagues showed that Vorinostat, approved to treat leukemia and epilepsy, and trichostatin A, an antifungal drug, mimic a natural process in the kidney that reabsorbs calcium and magnesium into the urine.

Kidneys, in addition to filtering waste from the blood into the urine, also play an essential role in reclaiming minerals that the body needs to carry out basic functions of life. Normally, some calcium and magnesium in the blood are filtered into the urine and then reabsorbed back into the blood, depending on the body’s need for these essential minerals.

Hou’s earlier work showed this process is heavily dependent on the activity of a gene called claudin-14. When the activity of claudin-14 is idled, the kidney’s filtering system works like it’s supposed to. But when the gene is activated, calcium and magnesium are blocked from re-entering the blood.

The gene’s expression is controlled by two snippets of RNA, a sister molecule of DNA, Hou’s previous research has shown.

As part of the new study, Hou and his colleagues found that Vorinostat and trichostatin A do not act directly on the claudin-14 but mimic these so-called micro-RNA molecules, keeping the activity of the gene in check. That the drugs can modify the activity of micro-RNAs make them attractive as potential treatments for kidney stones.

In the mice, small doses of Vorinostat, for example, reduced calcium levels in the urine by more than 50 percent and magnesium levels by more than 40 percent. Similar results were noted for trichostatin A.

“Kidney cells were very sensitive to the drug,” Hou explained. “We used one-twentieth of the dose typically used in humans and achieved significant results. We now want to test the drug in clinical trials for patients with kidney stones.”

Mice don’t develop kidney stones, so it will be important to test the drugs against kidney stones in patients, but the current study provides proof of principle that HDAC inhibitors regulate the same pathway that leads to kidney stones, he said. 

The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), (R01-DK084059 and P30-DK079333) and the American Heart Association (0930050N).

Gong Y, Himmerkus N, Plain A, Bleich M and Hou J. Epigenetic regulation of microRNAs for controlling CLDN14 expression as a mechanism for renal calcium handling. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. July 30, 2014.

Washington University School of Medicine’s 2,100 employed and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient-care institutions in the nation, currently ranked sixth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.

Caroline Arbanas | Eurek Alert!
Further information:
https://news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/27237.aspx

Further reports about: HDAC inhibitors Medicine activity blood drugs leukemia therapy urinary tract urine

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Link Discovered between Immune System, Brain Structure and Memory
26.04.2017 | Universität Basel

nachricht Researchers develop eco-friendly, 4-in-1 catalyst
25.04.2017 | Brown University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air

26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli

26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history

26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>