Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicinehave discovered how low-oxygen conditions can worsen chronic kidney disease (CKD). The key player is a protein called hypoxia-inducible-factor (HIF-1) that, as its name suggests, is active when the kidney does not get enough oxygen, a condition known as hypoxia.
CKD afflicts 20 million Americans who have hypertension, atherosclerosis, diabetes, and other conditions. The kidney has less oxygen reserves than other organs to start, and CKD is associated with less capillary blood flow, reducing oxygenation even further. As CKD