Therapeutic effects of neuregulin-1 in kidney disease

Date: 19 April 2016

Venue: UAntwerp, Campus Drie Eiken, Building Q, Promotiezaal - Universiteitplein 1 - 2610 Antwerp (Wilrijk)

Time: 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

PhD candidate: Leni Vandekerckhove

Principal investigator: Gilles De Keulenaer

Co-principal investigator: Vincent Segers

Short description: Public defence Leni Vandekerckhove - Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences


Neuregulin-1 (NRG-1) is an epidermal growth factor widespread present within the human body. NRG-1 is shown to be indispensable in the development and maintenance of the heart function and nervous system. Its potential therapeutic role is extensively studied in different species and animal models of heart failure and is currently tested in phase III clinical trials for the treatment of chronic heart failure. In this thesis, we hypothesized a broader physiological role for NRG-1 and studied its effects on the cardiovascular system and the kidney. Treatment with NRG-1 of a type 1 diabetic mouse model with concomitant cardiomyopathy, atherosclerosis and nephropathy completely prevented the development of these disorders. Given that no information is available on the kidney function and NRG-1, we further elaborated the therapeutic potential of NRG-1 in an animal model of acute kidney injury. NRG-1 prevented acute renal damage and herewith improved survival of mice. Despite the introduction of renoprotective therapy, the incidence of kidney diseases is still increasing. These results open new avenues for the potential therapeutic use of NRG-1 in kidney disease.