January 10, 2014
Targeting Certain Kidney Cells May Help Treat Kidney Failure
Cells cause destructive scarring that contributes to kidney function decline
New research reveals that certain cells contribute to kidney function decline, making them attractive targets for treatments against kidney failure. The findings will appear in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN).
Through experiments conducted in mice, the researchers found that podocytes cannot be renewed from parietal cells. In fact, after the loss of podocytes, parietal cells play a negative role by causing kidney scarring that contributes to progressive kidney function decline. "This opens a very important new strategy to prevent loss of kidney function: by inhibiting the parietal cells from doing their destructive work," said Dr. Moeller.
The researchers did, however, detect an additional but limited reserve of podocytes that are present at birth and become mature and functional filter cells by adulthood.
"Our results indicate that research efforts should be directed towards preserving our limited pool of filter cells and to develop pharmacological strategies to inhibit scarring of the kidney by parietal cells," said Dr. Moeller.
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