Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Kidney failure under the microscope

Better targeted treatments for 20 per cent of renal failure patients are on the horizon following a key discovery about the role of white blood cells in kidney inflammation.

In a study published today in Nature Medicine, researchers from Monash University tracked the movements of white blood cells, or leukocytes, leading to a new understanding of their behaviour in both healthy and diseased kidneys.

Leukocytes play important protective roles in the body's immune system, but in some cases they cause damaging inflammation. Glomerulonephritis is an inflammatory disease of the kidney that can lead to the need for transplantation or regular dialysis. More than 20 per cent of end-stage renal failure cases result from glomerulonephritis.

Lead researcher, Associate Professor Michael Hickey of the University's Centre for Inflammatory Diseases in the Department of Medicine said the team used advanced microscopy techniques to visualise the movements of leukocytes through the kidney.

"In order to manipulate a system, you must understand it. Now, we have a really clear understanding of the disease process and the molecules involved in the key steps," Associate Professor Hickey said.

"Contrary to conventional medical and scientific opinion, we found that leukocytes are constantly circulating through and patrolling the blood vessels within healthy kidneys. It was previously believed that they only arrived in the kidney during the development of disease. That's not the case. However, during disease they linger in the kidney during the course of their normal journey, become agitated and cause inflammation and kidney damage."

End-stage renal failure leads to significant health and personal impacts, including ongoing visits to a dialysis unit several times a week, or a significant wait for a donor.

Renal Physician and co-investigator Professor Richard Kitching said therapies to effectively target glomerulonephritis were needed before end-stage was reached.

"The treatments we have can be fairly effective, but they are non-specific and they often have unacceptable side effects," Professor Kitching said.

"Currently, we have to suppress the immune system to combat the inflammation and this immunosuppression leaves the body more prone to infections. Additionally, some of the drugs have metabolic side effects, such as weight gain and bone thinning.

"Now we have a better understanding of how the disease develops, we can identify targets for more specific drugs, with fewer side-effects."

The Australia and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplant Registry reported that 19,000 Australians had end-stage kidney failure at the end of 2010.

The research was funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia.

Monash Media | EurekAlert!
Further information:

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Space observation with radar to secure Germany's space infrastructure

Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.

The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

New solar solutions for sustainable buildings and cities

23.03.2018 | Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

For graphite pellets, just add elbow grease

23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Unique communication strategy discovered in stem cell pathway controlling plant growth

23.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Sharpening the X-ray view of the nanocosm

23.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>