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J Am Soc Nephrol. 1991 Jan;1(7):980-9.

A hereditary model of slowly progressive polycystic kidney disease in the mouse.

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Laboratory Animal Center, School of Medicine, Fujita Health University, Aichi, Japan.


There are two known forms of hereditary polycystic kidney disease (PKD) in humans. Although both forms initiate early in life, autosomal recessive PKD is rapidly progressive to kidney failure shortly after birth whereas autosomal dominant PKD is slowly progressive, taking many years to end stage. Research in this field has been limited by the availability of suitable animal models of PKD. Recently the C57BL/6J-cpk mouse has been used to study the pathogenesis of rapidly progressive hereditary PKD. The study presented here describes a slowly progressive PKD in the DBA/2-pcy mouse. The disease trait is transmitted in an autosomal recessive pattern and was localized to chromosome 9 through linkage to the dilute coat color and transferrin genes. Whereas some cystic changes were seen in fetal and newborn affected mice, renal enlargement did not develop until after 8 weeks of age and azotemia did not develop until after 18 weeks of age. Renal cysts were identified in all segments of the nephron and collecting duct and progressively enlarged with age. Individual cysts were found to be lined by a single layer of epithelial cells in most areas, with focal polyps and mounds of cells principally in collecting duct cysts. Early stages of cyst formation were associated with some abnormalities of tubular and glomerular basement membranes and accelerated eruption of incisors. Late stages of the disease were characterized by azotemia and chronic renal interstitial inflammatory infiltrates in all affected animals and cerebral vascular aneurysms in a few. We conclude that the DBA/2-pcy mouse has a form of renal cystic disease that appears similar in many respects to that seen in the dominant form of human PKD.

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