Mar 17, 2023
About a million people die from untreated kidney failure worldwide each year, and there haven't been many new ways to treat or cure kidney disease in the past 40 years. However, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine have found that changes in an enzyme helper molecule, called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), could be a basis for future kidney disease treatments or preventive measures. Their findings were published in Nature Metabolism.
NAD's Role in Kidney Health
By comparing healthy and diseased kidneys in mice and humans, the researchers noticed differences in levels of certain molecules, including a significant decrease in NAD in the diseased kidneys. When mice were given an over-the-counter supplement, it helped reverse the NAD loss, suggesting that NAD could play a key role in preventing kidney problems.
Improving Patient Care through Metabolite Research
The research team, led by Katalin Susztak, MD, PhD, hopes that their work will eventually lead to improved care for people with kidney issues. They want to catch and treat metabolite changes before kidney disorders develop.
A First in Metabolomic Studies
This study stands out because it's the first time human patient samples have been used in metabolomic studies, which look at small molecules (like metabolites) in relation to kidney disease. The researchers discovered changes in NAD metabolism in both mouse and human kidneys.
Supplements Protect Mice from Kidney Dysfunction
The research team found that using a common supplement (nicotinamide riboside or nicotinamide mononucleotide) to boost NAD levels protected mice from kidney dysfunction. This protection was achieved by keeping the mitochondria, or the powerhouses, of kidney tubule cells safe from damage.
The Importance of Preventing Mitochondria Damage
Kidney tubule cells help return important filtered nutrients to the bloodstream. When their mitochondria get damaged, a pathway that causes inflammation and kidney disease is activated. By preventing this damage, NAD supplements reduced inflammation and protected the mice from kidney injury.
Next Steps for NAD Research
Joseph Baur, PhD, a member of the research team, said that understanding the mechanisms sensitive to NAD is crucial for figuring out which conditions might benefit from NAD supplementation. The researchers hope that their findings will encourage further studies on the role of metabolite changes in kidney dysfunction and the development of new drugs to prevent and treat kidney disease.
Funding and Availability of Research Data
Rich Foreman brings over 30 years of technology leadership to his role of CEO and Co-Founder of KidneySoft. As founding CTO, Rich led the team that developed the CordicoShield / CordicoFire Wellness App. Cordico was honored with the Sacramento Innovation Award in 2021. After achieving a 7 digit ARR, Cordico was acquired by Lexipol in 2020. Rich has a BS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Washington, an MPA from Troy State University and was an officer in the U.S. Navy. Rich co-authored his book, "Tap into the Mobile Economy." Rich's blog was listed in Top 20 Marketing Mobile Blogs of 2014. He has been featured on KCRA3, NEWS10, 1170 Tech AM PowerDrive, Business Radio Money 105.5, SiliconIndia, the Sacramento Business Journal, and the Sacramento Bee. Rich is also the Founding Director of the Sacramento Chapter of Startup Grind and served a term as Utility Commissioner for the City of Folsom. Rich is a regular contributor to TechWire.net and StartupSac. Rich was the Co-founder of Apptology which was named Small Business of the Year in 2014 by the Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber. He was also the Founding Chief Technology Officer at Cordico. Cordico was acquired by Lexipol in 2020. Rich also served 4 years as a Naval Officer in the Civil Engineer Corps.
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