Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Reversing polycystic kidney disease

A new study shows that re-expressing PKD genes early in the course of the disease can fully reverse polycystic kidney disease in mice. These results reveal an unexpected ability of the kidney to regenerate following genetic rescue of polycystin function.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Progression and reversal of PKD.


  1. Bergmann, C. et al. Nat. Rev. Dis. Primers 4, 50 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Harris, P. C. & Torres, V. E. J. Clin. Invest. 124, 2315–2324 (2014).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Qian, F. et al. Cell 87, 979–987 (1996).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Dong, K. et al. Nat. Genet. (2021).

  5. Happe, H. & Peters, D. J. Nat. Rev. Nephrol. 10, 587–601 (2014).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Piontek, K. et al. Nat. Med. 13, 1490–1495 (2007).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Lantinga-van Leeuwen, I. S. et al. Hum. Mol. Genet. 16, 3188–3196 (2007).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Cockwell, P. & Fisher, L. A. Lancet 395, 662–664 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Rowe, I. et al. Nat. Med. 19, 488–493 (2013).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Boada-Romero, E. et al. Nat. Rev. Mol. Cell. Biol. 21, 398–414 (2020).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references


This News & Views is dedicated to the memory of the beloved parents of A.B., Irene and Virgilio. A.B. is grateful to A. Mondino for feedback. A.B. is supported by the Italian Ministry of Health (RF-2018-12368254; RF-2016-02361267), the Italian association of patients with PKD (AIRP), the PKD Foundation (218G18), the European Community (H-2020-MSCA-ITN-2019#SCiLS) and the Italian Association for Research on Cancer (AIRC, IG2019-23513).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Alessandra Boletta.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The author declares no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Boletta, A. Reversing polycystic kidney disease. Nat Genet 53, 1623–1624 (2021).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing