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October 7, 2013
EGHAM, United KingdomThe flavonoid naringenin, a component found naturally in grapefruit and other citrus fruits, successfully blocks the formation of kidney cysts, according to a new study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology.
Scientists from Royal Holloway University, St George's University of London and Kingston University London used a simple, single-celled amoeba to identify that naringenin regulates the PKD2 protein responsible for polycystic kidney disease and as a result, blocks formation of cysts. Polycystic kidney disease is an inherited disorder that leads to the loss of kidney function, high blood pressure and the need for dialysis.
To test how this discovery could apply in treatments, scientists used a mammalian kidney cell-line, and triggered the formation of cysts in these cells. The PKD2 protein were reduced in the kidney cells after adding naringenin, blocking in cyst formation.
"This study provides a good example of how chemicals identified in plants can help us develop new drugs for the treatment of disease," said Debbie Baines, professor at St George's University of London.
Naringenin has also been linked to the prevention of weight gain and other signs of metabolic syndrome that can lead to type 2 diabetes and increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
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