Sandra Hummelgaard - PhD Scholarship 2021

Project summary:
The role of PCSK9 in cardiovascular- and kidney disease

We aim to explore the potential dual cardioprotective and renoprotective effect of PCSK9-inhibition in rodent models of progressive chronic kidney disease (CKD) with associated hypercholesterolemia. If successful, the study provides the foundation for future clinical intervention studies using PCSK9-inhibition in proteinuric CKD patients aiming for dual benefits for these patients suffering from both increased cardiovascular risk as well as progressive kidney disease.

Project Title

The role of PCSK9 in cardiovascular- and kidney disease

Background

PCSK9 is a key regulator of cholesterol metabolism and inhibition of PCSK9 is a main target in the treatment of hypercholesterolemia.

Aim

It is the aim of my project to explore the potential dual cardioprotective and renoprotective effect of PCSK9-inhibition in rodent models of progressive chronic kidney disease (CKD) with associated hypercholesterolemia.

Methods

To determine if inhibiting PCSK9 slow down disease progression in CKD, we will evaluate albuminuria, kidney function, and kidney injury in two different CKD rodent models (podocin knockout mice and ZSF-1 rats) treated with a PCSK9-inhibitor. Collectively, these experiments will provide insight of the protective effects of PCSK9 inhibition on the cardio-renal axis. Methods:

  • ELISA
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Functional assays (e.g., eGFR measurements)
  • COBAS analyses
  • Western Blotting
  • Quantitative real-time PC

Sandra Hummelgaard

  • Cand. Scient. in Molecular Medicine
  • Aarhus University, Department of Biomedicine

Mentors:

Professor and Nephrologist Henrik Birn, Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University

Associate Professor Kathrin Weyer, Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus University

Partners:

  • Senior Research Scientist Jeppe Egedal Kirchhoff, Cardio-Renal Pharmacology, Novo Nordisk

  • Chief Scientific Officer Simon Glerup, Draupnir Bio

Contact: