CKD and progressive fibrosis

CKD and progressive fibrosis
Norman, Jill

Following kidney injury or disease, damage can be repaired and organ function restored. However, in some cases the normal healing response fails and scarring continues causing CKD. Progressive scarring replaces normal kidney tissue with non-functional fibrotic tissue and kidney function is lost. Ultimately, this can lead to kidney failure and the need for dialysis or kidney transplantation. Therapies that can retard or halt progressive scarring are limited and there is a need for novel therapeutic strategies. The key to this is understanding the basic mechanisms underlying fibrosis. Our work focuses on the biology of kidney fibroblasts, since in CKD the number of fibroblasts increases and the cells become activated to produce large amounts of fibrous tissue. Gene profiling and proteomic approaches are used to identify differences in normal and CKD-derived fibroblasts. Mechanistic studies explore how altered gene expression is regulated and how changes alter fibroblast behaviour and function, as well as fibroblast interactions with other renal cell types. We are also trying to identify biomarkers in blood and urine predictive of fibrosis and to define key molecular targets for therapy, as well as to test novel anti-fibrotic agents.

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CKD and progressive fibrosis