The story of Notch and chronic kidney disease

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Abstract

Purpose of review

The Notch pathway is an evolutionary conserved cell–cell communication mechanism that plays a key role in kidney development. Here, we will discuss a number of recently published papers describing the role of Notch signaling in kidney development, homeostasis, injury and repair.

Recent findings

Recent gene expression studies identified regulation of the Notch pathway in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Mechanistic experiments performed using transgenic and knock-out mouse models indicate that Notch plays an important functional role in the development of proteinuria and renal fibrosis. Inhibition of the Notch pathway ameliorated diabetic kidney disease, nephrotic syndrome and fibrosis in different rodent models.

Summary

An increasing amount of evidence suggests that Notch plays a role in CKD development. Understanding the role of Notch signaling in the kidney can aid in the development of new therapeutics for CKD.

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