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Curr Opin Nephrol Hypertens. 2004 Jul;13(4):417-22.

Bone morphogenetic protein 7: a novel treatment for chronic renal and bone disease.

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Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri, USA.



When last reviewed, bone morphogenetic protein 7 was presented as a potential new renal therapeutic agent, with multiple efficacies in chronic kidney disease. The object of this review is to describe progress from many sources since then in support or denial of the hypothesis.


Bone morphogenetic protein 7 has been shown to be an effective defence in several forms of chronic kidney disease in animal models, and its mechanisms of action have begun to be elucidated. Bone morphogenetic protein 7 inhibits tubular epithelial cell de-differentiation, mesenchymal transformation and apoptosis stimulated by various renal injuries. Bone morphogenetic protein 7 preserves glomerular integrity and inhibits injury-mediated mesangial matrix accumulation. In renal osteodystrophy, bone morphogenetic protein 7 affects osteoblast morphology and number, eliminates peritrabecular fibrosis, decreases bone resorption, and increases bone formation in secondary hyperparathyroidism. Bone morphogenetic protein 7 restores normal rates of bone formation in the adynamic bone disorder. Bone morphogenetic protein 7 is broadly efficacious in renal osteodystrophy, and importantly increases the skeletal deposition of ingested phosphorus and calcium, improving ion homeostasis in chronic kidney disease. Bone morphogenetic protein 7 was shown to prevent vascular calcification in a model of chronic kidney disease associated with the restoration of osteocalcin expression to normal tissue-restricted sites.


Bone morphogenetic protein 7 may be a powerful new therapeutic agent for chronic kidney disease, with the novel attribute of not only treating the kidney disease itself, but also directly inhibiting some of the most important complications of the disease state.

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