Fibrosis plays a role in the pathogenesis of progressive chronic kidney disease (CKD). The inhibition of the renin-angiotensin system, which promotes fibrosis, has become the standard of care in the treatment of patients with CKD. A novel charcoal compound, AST-120, has been used for over a decade in Japan to prevent progression of CKD. It is thought that the oral administration of AST-120 blocks the intestinal absorption of tryptophan-derived indole. This prevents the hepatic conversion of indole to indoxyl sulfate (IS). IS has been shown to stimulate the production of profibrotic cytokines such as transforming growth factor-beta. AST-120 lowers IS in a dose dependent fashion and does not change the creatinine appearance rate in the urine. Enteric capsules containing Bifidobacterium longum have been shown to prevent progression of CKD in a preliminary study. These findings suggest that prospective clinical trials be undertaken to determine if these other potential methods of inhibiting fibrosis are useful in slowing progressive CKD.
Copyright 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel.