An animal-free preclinical drug screening platform based on human precision-cut kidney slices

Henricus A M Mutsaers*, Michael Schou Jensen, Jean-Claude Kresse, Stine Julie Tingskov, Mia Gebauer Madsen, Rikke Nørregaard

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


OBJECTIVE: Renal fibrosis is one of the main pathophysiological processes underlying the progression of chronic kidney disease and kidney allograft failure. In the past decades, overwhelming efforts have been undertaken to find druggable targets for the treatment of renal fibrosis, mainly using cell- and animal models. However, the latter often do not adequately reflect human pathogenesis, obtained results differ per strain within a given species, and the models are associated with considerable discomfort for the animals. Therefore, the objective of this study is to implement the 3Rs in renal fibrosis research by establishing an animal-free drug screening platform for renal fibrosis based on human precision-cut kidney slices (PCKS) and by limiting the use of reagents that are associated with significant animal welfare concerns.

RESULTS: Using Western blotting and gene expression arrays, we show that transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) induced fibrosis in human PCKS. In addition, our results demonstrated that butaprost, SC-19220 and tamoxifen - all putative anti-fibrotic compounds - altered TGF-β-induced pro-fibrotic gene expression in human PCKS. Moreover, we observed that all compounds modulated fairly distinct sets of genes, however they all impacted TGF-β/SMAD signaling. In conclusion, this study revealed that it is feasible to use an animal-free approach to test drug efficacy and elucidate mechanisms of action.

TidsskriftBMC Research Notes
Antal sider6
StatusUdgivet - mar. 2023


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