Health Desk-- 8th July, 2018: Scientists have devised a method to deliver genetic material to treat damaged kidney cells in mice, an advance that may lead to a gene therapy to cure the potentially fatal chronic kidney disease (CDK) in humans.
Researchers, including those from the Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US, found that gene therapy could slow down or even reverse damage to kidney cells, hence preventing chronic kidney disease - gradual loss of kidney function over a period of months or years.
"Chronic kidney disease is an enormous and growing problem. Unfortunately, over the years, we have not developed more effective drugs for the condition, and this reality is leading us to explore gene therapy," said Benjamin D Humphreys, the lead author of the study.
Diabetes, hypertension and other conditions cause CKD, which occurs when damaged kidneys cannot effectively filter waste and excess fluids from the body. In some cases, it is also known to lead to cardiovascular diseases.
The researchers also showed that the genetic material carried by Anc80 was transferred successfully to the targeted kidney cells and the same virus also was used by the researchers in gene therapy strategies to treat mice with kidney scarring.
The study was published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.