Rodent Models of Renal Disease

Optimised preclinical renal disease models


A Range of Solutions for Your Renal Disease Research

Polycystic Kidney Disease Models

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a genetic disorder in which abnormal cysts develop and grow in the kidneys. The cysts are fluid filled, and if they become too numerous or large, kidney damage occurs. PKD is one of the leading causes of kidney failure and has, at present, no available cure.

CrownBio provides the pcy mouse, a genetically relevant rodent PKD model with a close correlation to human disease for use in novel agent efficacy evaluation.

This model develops PKD associated with the gene that causes human disease, providing a translatable rodent model, which closely mirrors human PKD development. It has been thoroughly characterized at CrownBio for disease progression and response to treatment. It responds positively to reference compounds, providing a high level of confidence in your drug discovery studies.


pcy Mouse

Rodent Strain


Gene Affected

Associated with the same gene that causes human nephronophthisis type 3

Disease Symptoms and Progression

Slowly progressive renal cystic disease. Cysts develop in the collecting tubules, other segments of the nephron become cystic as disease progresses. Male and female mice are similarly affected by the disease

Our optimized study designs include different administration routes, dosing schedules, and endpoints to meet your needs.


pcy Mouse

Rodent Age

5 weeks

Test Substance Administration Route

Admixed in diet

Typical Dosing Length

15 weeks


Cyst volume and fibrosis in kidney, including histological verification

Kidney weight

Serum BUN

Concentration of test article in the blood

Other analyses relevant to the target may be included

Body weight and food intake recorded weekly

Positive Control

Vasopressin receptor-2 (V2) antagonist tolvaptan

Uni-Nephrectomy, Aldosterone-Induced Renal Disease Model

Renal disease can be induced in Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats by uni-nephrectomy followed by aldosterone treatment and increasing salt intake, and the resulting model is used as an industry standard for evaluating mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists.

At CrownBio we have established this model and validated its response to the administration of clinically approved, mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists. Endpoints include collection of 24 hour urine samples, as well as histological study of the kidney and heart, which shows that eplerenone treatment prevents a rise in urinary albumin, as well as inhibiting kidney weight increases and changes in renal and cardiac pathology.

Type 2 Diabetic Nephropathy Model

In patients with diabetes, damage to small blood vessels in the kidneys leads to nephropathy. This can cause kidney failure, and eventually death. Diabetic nephropathy is the leading cause of dialysis and kidney transplant in developed countries, and preclinical models are required to further nephropathy research.

CrownBio’s ZDSD rat is an inbred polygenic model for metabolic syndrome, obesity, diabetes, and diabetic complications. Unlike other rodent models of metabolic disease, the ZDSD rat does not rely on monogenetic leptin or leptin receptor mutations for development of obesity and Type 2 diabetes (T2D), which more closely mimics human disease development. This results in a more translatable choice for evaluating your therapeutic agents.

The ZDSD rat displays diabetes progression similar to the human disease, with diabetic complications including nephropathy occurring around 24 weeks of age.

Diabetic nephropathy is evaluated by assessing the presence of typical biomarkers for renal dysfunction (i.e. IL6, TNF-α, NGAL, KIM-1, VEGF, etc.) as well as assessing albuminuria, free fatty acid levels, and via histological analysis. ACE inhibitor treatment reduces urinary albumin in the ZDSD rat, validating the use of this model in nephropathy research.


Discuss Your Renal Disease Project