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Kidney Int. 2006 Oct;70(7):1261-8. Epub 2006 Aug 2.

Evidence of angiogenesis and microvascular regression in autosomal-dominant polycystic kidney disease kidneys: a corrosion cast study.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas 77555, USA.


Autosomal-dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) accounts for about 10% of all cases of chronic renal failure requiring dialysis. The disease is characterized by proliferation of renal epithelial cells and formation of cysts that expand over years and replace the normal parenchyma of the kidney. As the cysts grow, the volume of the kidney can increase by more than 10-fold, implying that remodeling and expansion of the vasculature must occur to provide oxygenation and nutrition to the cyst cells. Our previous studies support the notion that there is angiogenesis in ADPKD. We report here results from resin casting of ADPKD kidneys vasculature. In this study, the corrosion-casting method was used in conjunction with scanning electron microscopy to study the vascular architecture and the evidence for angiogenesis in ADPKD kidneys. We found a well-defined vascular network around the cysts forming a 'vascular capsule' somewhat similar to that described in avascular leiomyomata. We also found that the normal vascular architecture is lost and replaced by an assortment of capillaries of larger size than those in the normal kidney, mixed with flattened and spiral arterioles, damaged glomeruli, and atresic venules, indicative of regression of the microvasculature. In the same areas, there was capillary sprouting, considered the hallmark of angiogenesis. The present study documents regression changes of the vasculature and confirms the existence of angiogenesis in ADPKD kidneys, and suggests the use of inhibitors of angiogenesis as a possible avenue for the treatment of the disease.

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