Computational drug repositioning of clopidogrel as a novel therapeutic option for focal segmental glomerulosclerosis

Transl Res. 2023 Sep:259:28-34. doi: 10.1016/j.trsl.2023.04.001. Epub 2023 Apr 12.


Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) is a glomerular lesion often associated with nephrotic syndrome. It is also associated with a high risk of progression to end-stage kidney disease. Current treatment of FSGS is limited to systemic corticosteroids or calcineurin inhibition, along with inhibitors of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. FSGS is heterogeneous in etiology, and novel therapies targeting specific, dysregulated molecular pathways represent a major unmet medical need. We have generated a network-based molecular model of FSGS pathophysiology using previously established systems biology workflows to allow computational evaluation of compounds for their predicted interference with molecular processes contributing to FSGS. We identified the anti-platelet drug clopidogrel as a therapeutic option to counterbalance dysregulated FSGS pathways. This prediction of our computational screen was validated by testing clopidogrel in the adriamycin FSGS mouse model. Clopidogrel improved key FSGS outcome parameters and significantly reduced urinary albumin to creatinine ratio (P < 0.01) and weight loss (P < 0.01), and ameliorated histopathological damage (P < 0.05). Clopidogrel is used to treat several cardiovascular diseases linked to chronic kidney disease. Clopidogrel's favorable safety profile and its efficacy in the adriamycin mouse FSGS model thus recommend it as an attractive drug repositioning candidate for clinical trial in FSGS.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Clopidogrel / pharmacology
  • Clopidogrel / therapeutic use
  • Doxorubicin / therapeutic use
  • Drug Repositioning
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental* / drug therapy
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental* / etiology
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental* / pathology
  • Kidney Glomerulus / pathology
  • Mice


  • Clopidogrel
  • Doxorubicin