Oleh Akchurin, MD

Assistant Professor

I joined laboratory of Dr. Rivella at the time of my faculty appointment at Weill Cornell in 2014. At that time I was interested in establishing a model of chronic kidney disease (CKD) that could be used in developing mice to study impact of CKD on their growth. After joining the lab, I also became interested in the role of iron metabolism in CKD, and how it may interact with growth regulation in uremia. The approach that we have chosen was based on the dietary supplementation of mice with adenine, which is a known nephrotoxin in high concentration. Mice fed 0.2% adenine diet developed adenine crystallization in their renal tubules, which then led to tubulointerstitial damage, inflammation, fibrosis and systemic features of CKD. The latter included anemia, elevated hepcidin, low serum iron due to its sequestration in macrophages. Adenin fed mice also had profound growth retardation. After establishing the model, we, for the first time, induced CKD in hepcidin knock-out mice. This led to an improvement of anemia and growth in uremic mice. Our current directions are related to clarifying the mechanisms of observed changes, their additional implications, and validation in humans