Enzyme could help develop better approaches to prevent chronic kidney disease

March 1, 2019

Dr. Christopher KennedyDr. Christopher KennedyAn enzyme called Nox5 may help researchers develop new approaches to prevent chronic kidney disease in people with diabetes or high blood pressure, according to a study published in Antioxidants and Redox Signalling. High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of kidney disease, and kidney disorders are a major cause of disease and premature death in individuals with diabetes. Dr. Christopher Kennedy’s team found that Nox5 plays a key role in driving an inflammation feedback loop which leads to kidney damage. The team helped clarify the enzyme’s exact role in this multi-step pathway. They also found that animal models of kidney injury with enhanced Nox5 levels experienced more inflammation of the kidneys. The team also identified which factors can activate and deactivate the Nox5 enzyme, information which could potentially be used to develop future treatments. Dr. Kennedy recently received a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to pursue this research.

We’re excited to shed new light on this enzyme, which could be a target for preventing kidney disease,” said Dr. Kennedy.

Reference: Antioxidants and Redox Signalling

Authors: Chet E. Holterman, Naomi C. Boisvert, Jean-François Thibodeau, Eldjonai Kamto, Melica Novakovic, Khaled S. Abd-Elrahman, Stephen S.G. Ferguson, and Christopher R.J. Kennedy

Funders: Dr. Kennedy’s research is possible because of generous donations to The Ottawa Hospital Foundation. This study was also supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

The Ottawa Hospital: Inspired by research. Driven by compassion 

The Ottawa Hospital is one of Canada’s largest learning and research hospitals with over 1,100 beds, approximately 12,000 staff and an annual budget of over $1.2 billion. Our focus on research and learning helps us develop new and innovative ways to treat patients and improve care. As a multi-campus hospital, affiliated with the University of Ottawa, we deliver specialized care to the Eastern Ontario region, but our techniques and research discoveries are adopted around the world. We engage the community at all levels to support our vision for better patient care. See for more information about research at The Ottawa Hospital.

University of Ottawa: —A crossroads of cultures and ideas

The University of Ottawa is home to over 50,000 students, faculty and staff, who live, work and study in both French and English. Our campus is a crossroads of cultures and ideas, where bold minds come together to inspire game-changing ideas. We are one of Canada’s top 10 research universities—our professors and researchers explore new approaches to today’s challenges. One of a handful of Canadian universities ranked among the top 200 in the world, we attract exceptional thinkers and welcome diverse perspectives from across the globe.

Media Contact

Amelia Buchanan
Senior Communication Specialist
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Office: 613-798-5555 x 73687
Cell: 613-297-8315


Scientific Program tags: Inflammation and Chronic Disease Program