The kidney disease crescentic glomerulonephritis rapidly progresses to acute kidney failure and death within months if it is not treated. Even with treatment, many patients progress to end-stage kidney disease and require dialysis and sometimes a kidney transplant.
New research in mice, performed by Alan Salama and colleagues, at Hammersmith Hospital, United Kingdom, has identified a potential new drug target for the treatment of crescentic glomerulonephritis.
In the study, mice lacking the mannose receptor protein were found to be protected from crescentic glomerulonephritis. This protection was associated with decreased kidney damage mediated by cells known as macrophages and mesangial cells. Further, macrophages lacking the mannose receptor actually became antiinflammatory in the kidney after they interacted with mesangial cells.
The authors therefore suggest that targeting the mannose receptor might provide a new approach to treating crescentic glomerulonephritis. Importantly, this approach would not have the wide-ranging immunosuppressive effects that many current therapies have.
The research appears in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
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