Role of vasopressin antagonists

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40 Scopus citations


Alterations in intracellular calcium homeostasis and cyclic adenosine 3′,5′-phosphate likely underlie the increased cell proliferation and fluid secretion in polycystic kidney disease. Hormone receptors that affect cyclic adenosine 3′,5′-phosphate and are preferentially expressed in affected tissues are logical treatment targets. There is a sound rationale for considering the arginine vasopressin V2 receptor as a target. The arginine vasopressin V2 receptor antagonists OPC-31260 and tolvaptan inhibit the development of polycystic kidney disease in cpk mice and in three animal orthologs to human autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (PCK rat), autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (Pkd2-/WS25 mice), and nephronophthisis (pcy mouse). PCK rats that are homozygous for an arginine vasopressin mutation and lack circulating vasopressin are markedly protected. Administration of V2 receptor agonist 1-deamino-8-D-arginine vasopressin to these animals completely recovers the cystic phenotype. Administration of 1-deamino-8-D-arginine vasopressin to PCK rats with normal arginine vasopressin aggravates the disease. Suppression of arginine vasopressin release by high water intake is protective. V2 receptor antagonists may have additional beneficial effects on hypertension and chronic kidney disease progression. A number of clinical studies in polycystic kidney disease have been performed or are currently active. The results of phase 2 and 2-3 studies indicate that tolvaptan seems to be safe and well tolerated in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease. A phase 3, placebo-controlled, double-blind study in 18- to 50-yr-old patients with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease and preserved renal function but relatively rapid progression, as indicated by a total kidney volume >750 ml, has been initiated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1212-1218
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Nephrology
  • Transplantation


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