A novel direct adenosine monophosphate kinase activator ameliorates disease progression in preclinical models of Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) mainly results from mutations in the PKD1 gene, which encodes polycystin 1. It is the most common inherited kidney disease and is characterized by a progressive bilateral increase in cyst number and size, often leading to kidney failure. The cellular energy sensor and regulator adenosine monophosphate stimulated protein kinase (AMPK) has been implicated as a promising new therapeutic target. To address this hypothesis, we determined the effects of a potent and selective clinical stage direct allosteric AMPK activator, PXL770, in canine and patient-derived 3D cyst models and an orthologous mouse model of ADPKD. PXL770 induced AMPK activation and dose-dependently reduced cyst growth in principal-like Madin-Darby Canine Kidney cells stimulated with forskolin and kidney epithelial cells derived from patients with ADPKD stimulated with desmopressin. In an inducible, kidney epithelium-specific Pkd1 knockout mouse model, PXL770 produced kidney AMPK pathway engagement, prevented the onset of kidney failure (reducing blood urea by 47%), decreased cystic index by 26% and lowered the kidney weight to body weight ratio by 35% compared to untreated control Pkd1 knockout mice. These effects were accompanied by a reduction of markers of cell proliferation (-48%), macrophage infiltration (-53%) and tissue fibrosis (-37%). Thus, our results show the potential of direct allosteric AMPK activation in the treatment of ADPKD and support the further development of PXL770 for this indication.


  • Dagorn, Pascale Gluais
  • Buchholz, Bjoern
  • Kraus, Andre
  • Batchuluun, Battsetseg
  • Bange, Hester
  • Blockken, Laura
  • Steinberg, Gregory
  • Moller, David E
  • Hallakou-Bozec, Sophie

publication date

  • May 2023