About this Research Topic
Genomic and proteomic approaches have enhanced our understanding of the mechanisms controlling renal function. Yet, renal dysfunction associated with kidney disease is still one of the most prevalent complications in chronic conditions, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and obesity. Thus, it is crucial to understand the underlying factors predisposing to renal dysfunction, such as fetal programming, epigenetic, hormonal or nutritional interferences.
Evidence suggests that nutritional restriction during pregnancy causes adaptations in the offspring associated with the onset of diseases at adulthood aroused fetal programming studies. Furthermore, it was shown that other insults such as diabetes mellitus, glucocorticoids exposure and sleep restriction during pregnancy also predispose to the development of renal dysfunction. Taking into account that many other factors can interfere in the intrauterine development, studies in this field will expand the knowledge in the area allowing in the future actions to be taken to avoid or at least reduce the effects by programming. Hormonal changes, mainly in the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAS), have a significant role in the impairment of renal function. In addition, changes in other hormones and/or intracellular mediators can also participate in the development of renal dysfunction associated with fetal programming or to different situations related to kidney damage.
Epigenetic has emerged as a new way of looking at the determinants of several diseases, including chronic kidney disease (CKD). The knowledge about the influence that DNA methylation and histone modifications have on gene expression in CKD added further complexity to the involvement of epigenetics in the expression of countless genes involved in the process of kidney injury. Animal models and clinical studies suggest a critical role for epigenetics in the course of inflammation, oxidative stress and tissue fibrosis development and progression in CKD. Thus, it is of utmost importance to deepen the knowledge about the epigenetic mechanisms related to the injury and dysfunction of the many types of kidney cells and the possible therapeutic pathways.
Thus, we believe that a collection of articles focusing mainly on factors predisposing to renal dysfunction, such as fetal programming, epigenetic, hormonal or nutritional interferences, can contribute substantially to the understanding of the mechanisms involved and of importance for new developments in the area.
Keywords: Fetal programming, Renal function, Hormones, Epigenetic, Blood pressure
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