The kidney function in a model of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (PKD), the Han:SPRD rat, is dramatically improved by chronic ingestion of a solution of potassium citrate and citric acid (KCitr). This study investigated whether this treatment would also be beneficial in the pcy/pcy mouse, a model of autosomal recessive PKD. Starting at 1 month of age, male CD-1 pcy/pcy and normal CD-1 mice were provided with a solution of 55 mM K3 citrate/67 mM citric acid or tap water to drink. The pcy/pcy mice on the KCitr solution failed to grow normally and showed elevated plasma urea levels when compared to water-drinking littermates. Growth of normal CD-1 mice was not affected by KCitr intake. The pcy/pcy mice were then provided with a more dilute solution of KCitr to drink: this resulted in greater kidney wet and dry weights and a higher kidney weight/body weight ratio, but no beneficial effects. We conclude that pcy/pcy mice cannot tolerate a high level of KCitr intake and that a lower level is of no benefit. Whether KCitr therapy would be helpful in patients with PKD is still an open question.

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