Modulation of Cellular Iron Dynamics to Treat Kidney Injury

Modulation of Cellular Iron Dynamics to Treat Kidney Injury

Sundararaman Swaminathan, MD

Modulation of Cellular Iron Dynamics to Treat Kidney Injury

Swaminathan

Sundararaman
Swaminathan, MD

Labile iron plays an important role in tissue and renal injury. As our understanding of renal iron transport at the molecular level has grown, so has the opportunity to develop novel therapeutics for kidney injury. No FDA-approved drugs exist to prevent or treat acute kidney injury (AKI). Our laboratory is taking advantage of the new knowledge available regarding iron metabolism to identify new therapeutic targets.

Low urine hepcidin levels predict AKI. Hepcidin-mediated downregulation of ferroportin leads to an increase in intracellular iron. In our first approach, we are determining the effects of therapeutic modulation of iron metabolism in models of AKI.

cellular ironEfforts to retard progression of diabetic nephropathy have met with little success. Our second major focus is defining diabetes-mediated effects on systemic and renal iron metabolism. Utilizing murine models and cell culture systems of diabetes, we are seeking to determine the effects of iron metabolism modulation on end-organ damage.

We believe these methods have the potential to be extended to treatment of human kidney disease.

Collaborators include Mark Okusa, Peter Lobo, Ariel Gomez, and Cindy Roy.