The kidney cysts formation could be prevented by using citrus fruits such as grapefruit (rich in naringenin), according to the latest study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology. Polycystic kidney disease is a genetic disorder in which patient can experience increased blood pressure (hypertension), edema and sometimes requires dialysis.
This study was conducted on a unicellular organism named as an amoeba by Royal Holloway University, St George’s, University of London and Kingston University London. They found that naringenin inhibits the formation of cysts by regulating PKD2 protein (main cause of polycystic kidney disease).
“This discovery provides an important step forward in understanding how polycystic kidney disease may be controlled,” said Professor Robin Williams from the School of Biological Sciences at Royal Holloway.
In the study, we have demonstrated how effective the amoeba Dictyostelium is in the discovery of new treatments and their targets. Having previously applied the same method of testing in our work into epilepsy and bipolar treatments, it is clear that this new approach could help us reduce reliance on animal testing and provide major improvements.”
Dr Mark Carew, from the School of Pharmacy and Chemistry at Kingston University, said: “Further investigation is underway to understand the action of naringenin at the molecular level. This work will entail looking at the function of the PKD2 protein as a cell growth regulator.”
“Indeed, this study provides a good example of how chemicals identified in plants can help us develop new drugs for the treatment of disease,” added Professor Debbie Baines from St George’s, University of London.
“Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease affects between 1 in 10 people on dialysis and 1 in 8 with a kidney transplant. Kidney Research UK welcomes this publication that may provide hope for a future new treatment for polycystic kidney disease, alongside its own on-going research focusing on tackling this common genetic kidney disease,” said Elaine Davies, Head of Research Operations at Kidney Research UK.
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