Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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Shrinking Kidneys

Insight into development of chronic kidney disease after acute kidney injury

09 November 2022

Shrinking Kidneys

A sudden assault on your kidneys can be crippling and unfortunately, can also lead to chronic kidney disease if your kidneys don't fully repair. Researchers investigate why using mice subjected to two types of acute kidney injury: one that leads to tissue wasting and one that leads to repair. Fluorescence microscopy of proteins in kidney sections, alongside RNA analysis, revealed that two weeks later, kidneys undergoing wasting had more macrophages compared with kidneys undergoing repair. And these kidneys also underwent a second wave of damage caused by a build-up of immune cells that promote inflammation. Injecting antibodies to deplete these immune cells reduced tissue wasting. Without antibody injections, a month later, fluorescence microscopy of kidney sections revealed smaller kidneys following injury that led to tissue wasting (right), compared with kidneys that underwent repair (left). The persistence of macrophages after injury, therefore, promotes a pro-inflammatory environment that leads to long-term kidney damage.

Written by Lux Fatimathas

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