Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a leading cause of ESRD worldwide. In PKD, excessive cell proliferation and fluid secretion, pathogenic interactions of mutated epithelial cells with an abnormal extracellular matrix and alternatively activated interstitial macrophages, and the disruption of mechanisms controlling tubular diameter contribute to cyst formation. Studies with animal models suggest that several diverse pathophysiologic mechanisms, including dysregulation of intracellular calcium levels and cAMP signaling,mediate these cystogenicmechanisms. This article reviews the evidence implicating calcium and cAMP as central players in a network of signaling pathways underlying the pathogenesis of PKD and considers the therapeutic relevance of treatment strategies targeting cAMP signaling.
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