Despite the recent launch of Tolvaptan, the search for safer polycystic kidney disease (PKD) drugs continues. Ciclopirox (CPX) or its olamine salt (CPX-O) are contained in number of commercially available antifungal agents. CPX is also reported to possess anticancer activity. Several mechanisms of action have been proposed including chelation of iron and inhibition of iron dependent enzymes. Here, we show that CPX-O inhibited in vitro cystogenesis of primary human PKD cyst-lining epithelial cells cultured in a 3D collagen matrix. To assess in vivo role of CPX-O, we treated PKD mice with CPX-O. CPX-O reduced the kidney- to-body weight ratios of PKD mice. This was also associated with decreased cell proliferation, decreased cystic area and improved renal function. Ferritin levels were significantly elevated in cystic kidneys of PKD mice, and CPX-O treatment reduced renal ferritin levels. The reduction in ferritin was associated with increased ferritinophagy marker, NCOA4 which reversed upon CPX-O treatment in PKD mice. Interestingly, these effects on ferritin appeared independent of iron. These data suggest that CPX-O can induce ferritin degradation via ferritinophagy which is associated with decreased cyst growth progression in PKD mice. Most importantly these data indicate that CPX-O has the potential to treat autosomal dominant PKD.

References

PubMed