Assistant Professor
Division of Nephrology

Project title: An innovative approach to the preservation of peritoneal membrane

Sharon Adler, MD – LA BioMed at Harbor-UCLA
Isidro Salusky, MD – UCLA
Cynthia Nast, MD – Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Youngju Pak, PhD – LA BioMed at Harbor-UCLA

Multidisciplinary Expertise:
Nephrology, pathology, pharmocokinetic/pharmacodynamic methodology, molecular and cell biology, biostatistics

Project Description:
Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is more cost-efficient and offers a better quality of life than hemodialysis (HD) for patients with end stage renal disease, but long-term utilization is limited by membrane failure. The standard osmotic agent that drives fluid removal in PD is dextrose, which is one of the most important causes of long-term peritoneal membrane injury and functional loss. Although a maltose polymer (icodextrin) improves fluid removal, it does not improve actual dialysis, nor has it reduced inflammation. Our preliminary data from cell cultures, animal studies and human PD effluent has implicated JAK/STAT signaling in PD fluid-induced peritoneal inflammation and injury. This proposal will test whether JAK/STAT inhibition preserves peritoneal membrane structure and function in rats and inhibits inflammation in patients. Together, these data may provide support for Phase 2 testing in PD patients.