APS Highlights Migraine Drug Study for February Spotlight

The article "Lasmiditan promotes recovery from acute kidney injury through induction of mitochondrial biogenesis” was highlighted by the American Journal of Physiology-Renal Physiology as an APSselect article for February. 

Dean Rick Schnellmann, College of Medicine-Tucson Senior Research Specialist Jaroslav Janda, PhD, and Coit College of Pharmacy Graduate Student Kevin Hurtado are the authors of the article. They are working to develop a drug to treat acute kidney injury. The disease is characterized by rapid kidney failure, occurs in approximately 8% to16% of hospitalized people and affects more than 13 million people worldwide. The condition can be caused by a variety of factors, including some medications and sepsis. Physiological problems, such as mitochondrial dysfunction, damage to small blood vessels in the kidney and loss of renal tubular function, can result from acute kidney injury. Currently, there is no treatment for acute kidney injury. 

The researchers treated a mouse model of acute kidney injury with lasmiditan and found it: 

  • Stimulated recovery of kidney function such as mitochondrial biogenesis (the cellular process that produces new mitochondria based on environmental and physiological changes)
  • Improved vascular integrity
  • Reduced fibrosis and reduced proximal tubule damage 

Lasmiditan is already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treatment of migraines. Schnellmann said this is a classic example drug repurposing. More study is needed, but Schnellmann believes these early results show signs of promise to treat acute kidney injury.

"If it works in humans, it will be the first drug to cure acute kidney injury," Schnellmann said. 

Read the full article, “Lasmiditan promotes recovery from acute kidney injury through induction of mitochondrial biogenesis.” It is highlighted as one of this month’s “best of the best” as part of the American Physiological Society’s APSselect program.