Dysregulated signaling cascades alter energy metabolism and promote cell proliferation and cyst expansion in polycystic kidney disease (PKD). Here we tested whether metabolic reprogramming towards aerobic glycolysis ("Warburg effect") plays a pathogenic role in male heterozygous Han:SPRD rats (Cy/+), a chronic progressive model of PKD. Using microarray analysis and qPCR, we found an upregulation of genes involved in glycolysis (Hk1, Hk2, Ldha) and a downregulation of genes involved in gluconeogenesis (G6pc, Lbp1) in cystic kidneys of Cy/+ rats compared with wild-type (+/+) rats. We then tested the effect of inhibiting glycolysis with 2-deoxyglucose (2DG) on renal functional loss and cyst progression in 5-week-old male Cy/+ rats. Treatment with 2DG (500 mg/kg/day) for 5 weeks resulted in significantly lower kidney weights (-27%) and 2-kidney/total-body-weight ratios (-20%) and decreased renal cyst index (-48%) compared with vehicle treatment. Cy/+ rats treated with 2DG also showed higher clearances of creatinine (1.98±0.67 vs 1.41±0.37 ml/min), BUN (0.69±0.26 vs 0.40±0.10 ml/min) and uric acid (0.38±0.20 vs 0.21±0.10 ml/min), and reduced albuminuria. Immunoblotting analysis of kidney tissues harvested from 2DG-treated Cy/+ rats showed increased phosphorylation of AMPK-α, a negative regulator of mTOR, and restoration of ERK signaling. Assessment of Ki-67 staining indicated that 2DG limits cyst progression through inhibition of epithelial cell proliferation. Taken together, our results show that targeting the glycolytic pathway may represent a promising therapeutic strategy to control cyst growth in PKD.