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Colchicine in Renal Medicine: New Virtues of an Ancient Friend.

Colchicine is a plant-derived alkaloid that disrupts the cell microtubule system and accumulates in neutrophils, inhibiting neutrophil adhesion and recruitment. Colchicine has been used extensively in the prevention and treatment of gouty arthritis attacks, familial Mediterranean fever attacks and resultant AA amyloidosis, and recurrent pericarditis. Colchicine also disrupts the intracellular traffic of additional inflammatory and fibrosis mediators. Renal fibrosis is the final common pathway of chronic renal disease. Colchicine had anti-fibrotic effects in experimental diabetic nephropathy, renal mass reduction, and cyclosporine nephrotoxicity among others and is undergoing clinical trials for non-diabetic metabolic syndrome and diabetic nephropathy. In this review, we summarize the anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic properties of colchicine in experimental and clinical studies in renal diseases or other fibrotic disease processes with renal consequences. We also discuss the potential future uses of colchicine in renal medicine and challenges faced with its use in patients with impaired kidney function.

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