Rodent PKD-Targeted Services

While C. elegans and zebrafish models are convenient for rapid drug screening, testing of promising therapies in well-characterized, orthologous rodent models of PKD is necessary to establish the basis for clinical trials.

Further, rodent models anatomically and physiologically mimic humans more closely than C. elegans and zebrafish models, providing a platform to study PKD-related renal and extrarenal pathomechanisms at the organ level.

Services and rodent models provided by the Translational Polycystic Kidney Disease Center's Model Systems Core at Mayo are available to PKD researchers at Mayo Clinic and external institutions.


Chemical and natural compound testing in rodent models of PKD

Depending on the mechanism of action or the intended effect of a particular drug, various rodent models and drug doses can be used to evaluate PKD-related treatment outcome. The Model System Core staff is happy to advise on the best-suited model and appropriate dose regimens.

Evaluation of modifier gene effects

Recent studies have shown that mutations in genes associated with PKD pathways can either alleviate or worsen PKD progression. Crossing murine models of the gene of interest with well-established PKD models and evaluating PKD-related phenotypes can decipher the significance of such modifier genes.

Imaging-based, histological and physiological characterization of PKD-related phenotypes

This service is utilized as part of the compound testing and modifier evaluation service, but can be requested to characterize any novel or other PKD-related rodent models.

  • Imaging-based characterization. Renal and extrarenal gross organ structure analysis, total kidney and liver volume calculations, and renal microvasculature and biliary tree analysis. Techniques include ultrasound, micro-CT, MRI, plus data analysis.
  • Histological characterization. Morphometric analysis of cystic and fibrotic volume, and analysis of tubular cyst origin. Techniques include H&E, Masson trichrome, Picro Sirius Red, immunofluorescence staining, plus data analysis.
  • Physiological characterization. Renal concentrating capacity, blood pressure, and renal and liver function. Techniques include metabolic cages, tail-cuff analysis, blood chemistry, electrolytes, immunoassay and gas analysis.

Training on rodent-related technologies

The Translational PKD Center's Model Systems Core offers training on any of the techniques utilized as well as general rodent-related training such as line maintenance, line crosses and genotyping.

Available models

The following models are available for immediate distribution to PKD researchers at Mayo Clinic or other institutions.

The Model Systems Core houses multiple additional rodent PKD and ciliopathy models for which the core is happy to aid in material transfer agreement (MTA) facilitation and subsequent distribution. Please inquire about any additional lines.


For more information about rodent services offered through the Model Systems Core, contact the core.