Reduction in Food Intake May Slow Kidney Disease

Mouse model shows substantial slowing of disease progression in ADPKD

kidney illustration

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A mild reduction in food intake seems to slow autosomal-dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) in a mouse model, according to an experimental study published online Jan. 13 in the American Journal of Physiology: Renal Physiology.

Noting that mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), which is aberrantly activated in renal cysts, is known to be regulated by nutrients and cellular energy status, Kevin R. Kipp, from the University of California in Santa Barbara, and colleagues examined whether dietary restriction would affect renal cyst growth. The study was conducted in an orthologous mouse model of ADPKD with a mosaic conditional knockout of PKD1.

The researchers found that reduced food intake (RFI) by 23 percent had a profound effect on polycystic kidneys. This level of RFI had no effect on normal body weight gain, did not cause malnutrition, and was not associated with other apparent side effects. There was a substantial slowing of disease progression with RFI: relative kidney weight increase was 41 percent, versus 151 percent in controls, and cyst-lining cell proliferation was 7.7 percent, versus 15.9 percent in controls. Kidney function was maintained by mice on RFI diet, and they did not progress to end-stage renal disease. RFI was associated with suppression of two major branches of mTORC1 signaling: S6 and 4EBP1.

"This study suggests that a mild decrease in food intake represents a potential therapeutic intervention to slow disease progression in ADPKD patients," the authors write.

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