02152: Translation of MicroRNA into an Early Diagnostic Test for Chronic Kidney Disease

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $26,988
Mary B Nabity, DVM, PhD; Texas A&M AgriLife Research
January 1, 2015 - June 30, 2019

Sponsor(s): American German Shepherd Dog Charitable Foundation, Inc., English Cocker Spaniel Club of America, Irish Setter Club of America Foundation, Inc., Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of America, Inc., Zoetis

Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Kidney & Urological Disease
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Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a significant cause of illness and death in dogs and is often due to glomerular diseases. Dogs with glomerular disease often have poor outcomes with standard therapy, and specific treatment recommendations are difficult without performing a kidney biopsy to determine the type of glomerular disease present, since treatment and outcome among these diseases differs substantially. Even then, there lacks an understanding of the mechanisms driving these diseases, limiting the ability to optimally treat these dogs. Therefore, tests to non-invasively diagnosis the type of glomerular disease would help veterinarians more appropriately treat these patients and provide insight into the mechanisms that cause the diseases. This could lead to better therapies that slow disease progression and improve quality and length of life in dogs with CKD. One area of emerging importance in CKD is the role of microRNAs ( miRNAs) in disease pathogenesis and progression. miRNAs are small molecules that can regulate gene expression by up or down regulation of messenger RNA transcripts and proteins in target tissues. Many studies have found that increases or decreases in miRNAs can serve as biomarkers of diseases, including human CKD. They also contribute to the development of diseases. The goal of Dr. Nabity's study is to identify miRNAs in serum and urine of dogs that are specific for the three major causes of glomerular disease in this species. They also aim to identify miRNAs associated with disease progression for each of these diseases. Successful completion of these goals will support the translation of miRNAs into diagnostic tests and viable targets for future drug development.


Chu, C. P., & Nabity, M. B. (2019). Comparison of RNA isolation and library preparation methods for small RNA sequencing of canine biofluids. Veterinary Clinical Pathology, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1111/vcp.12743

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