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Vitamin D in Chronic Kidney Disease: New Potential for Intervention

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Prevention of progressive renal function loss and its complications remains the main challenge in clinical nephrology. Although current therapeutic strategies aiming at reduction of blood pressure and proteinuria often slow down deterioration of renal function, still many patients progress to end-stage renal disease. The development of novel pharmacological approaches for treatment of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is therefore instrumental.

Here we review the renoprotective potential of vitamin D and its analogues. In CKD patients, vitamin D deficiency is common and progression of CKD is associated with low (active) vitamin D levels. Moreover, in animal models of CKD, treatment with vitamin D (analogues) alone or in combination with renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) blockade reduces proteinuria, glomerulosclerosis and tubulointerstitial fibrosis. Potential underlying mechanisms include suppression of the RAAS, modulation of immune cell function and direct protective effects on renal cells such as podocytes. Whether vitamin D analogues could further optimize existing therapies in human renal disease is currently under investigation.

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Keywords: CYP; Chronic kidney disease; FGF23; RAAS; RXRs; VDBP; albuminuria; cholecalciferol; end-stage renal disease (ESRD); ergocalciferol; glomerulosclerosis; hyperlipidemia; hypervitaminosis; inflammation; megalin; nephrin; podocin; proteinuria; renal protection; renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system; vitamin D; vitamin D analogues; vitamin D deficiency; vitamin D receptor

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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  • Current Drug Targets aims to cover the latest and most outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry and pharmacology of molecular drug targets e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will be devoted to a single timely topic, with series of in-depth reviews, written by leaders in the field, covering a range of current topics on drug targets. These issues will be organized and led by a guest editor who is a recognized expert in the overall topic. As the discovery, identification, characterisation and validation of novel human drug targets for drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.
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