Pathophysiological Mechanisms of Renal Fibrosis: A Review of Animal Models and Therapeutic Strategies

In Vivo. 2017 Jan 2;31(1):1-22. doi: 10.21873/invivo.11019.


Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a long-term condition in which the kidneys do not work correctly. It has a high prevalence and represents a serious hazard to human health and estimated to affects hundreds of millions of people. Diabetes and hypertension are the two principal causes of CKD. The progression of CKD is characterized by the loss of renal cells and their replacement by extracellular matrix (ECM), independently of the associated disease. Thus, one of the consequences of CKD is glomerulosclerosis and tubulointerstitial fibrosis caused by an imbalance between excessive synthesis and reduced breakdown of the ECM. There are many molecules and cells that are associated with progression of renal fibrosis e.g. angiotensin II (Ang II). Therefore, in order to understand the biopathology of renal fibrosis and for the evaluation of new treatments, the use of animal models is crucial such as: surgical, chemical and physical models, spontaneous models, genetic models and in vitro models. However, there are currently no effective treatments for preventing the progression of renal fibrosis. Therefore it is essential to improve our knowledge of the cellular and molecular mechanisms of the progress of renal fibrosis in order to achieve a reversion/elimination of renal fibrosis.

Keywords: Rats; disease; kidneys; mice; renal function; review.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Fibrosis / physiopathology*
  • Fibrosis / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Kidney Diseases / therapy*