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!
Why might reading make myopic?
18.07.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Tübingen
Unique brain 'fingerprint' can predict drug effectiveness
11.07.2018 | McGill University
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
19.07.2018 | Earth Sciences
19.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
19.07.2018 | Materials Sciences