Targeting bone morphogenetic protein signaling on renal and vascular diseases

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Normal development and adult physiology of the kidney and vasculature rely heavily on bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs). Here we compile evidence that favors the notion that BMPs are also critically involved in the process of generation and maintenance of renal and vascular diseases.

Recent findings

Molecular manipulation of BMP signaling in vivo and in vitro has been instrumental in showing the protective role of BMPs on renal fibrosis and diabetic nephropathy. Similarly, activation of those pathways produces phenotypic changes in vascular smooth muscle and endothelial cells, tightly linked to the pathogenesis of vascular calcification, hypertrophy and atherosclerosis.

Summary

Gain-of-function and loss-of-function experiments targeting BMP pathway agonists and inhibitors lead to significant progress in the comprehension of renal and vascular normal and altered behavior. The demonstration that BMP signaling plays an important part in pathological conditions of the vasculature and the kidney opens up possibilities for the development of diagnostic and therapeutic tools.

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