Identifying key regulators of kidney injury

(Medical Xpress)—Micro-RNAs (miRNAs) are a recently discovered class of RNA molecules that regulate how genes are expressed. UCD researchers led by Conway Fellow, Professor Catherine Godson are studying the role of miRNAs in diabetic kidney disease.

They have described for the first time how the miRNA family, let-7 miRNA, plays a key role in regulating kidney injury by targeting key fibrosis pathways in human kidney epithelial cells.

The team investigated the miRNA responses in human kidney tubule epithelial cells cultured under fibrotic conditions that mimic and in the presence of anti- lipoxin A4 to suppress fibrosis.

'Promoting the resolution of inflammation makes for an interesting that could reduce the risk of developing diabetic kidney disease. We believe that the lipoxins involved in regulating this process may be acting through miRNA mechanisms', said Dr Eoin Brennan, first author of the published article in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

The extent of let-7c miRNA expression seems to impact on the integrity of epithelial cells as the study found less let-7c miRNA expression in injured epithelial cells than in healthy cells.

'The next step for us now is to determine if let-7 miRNAs can actually play a role as biomarkers of diabetic kidney disease and we will do this by measuring expression in both urine and of patients,' said Professor Catherine Godson from UCD School of Medicine & Medical Science.

'We will also investigate the therapeutic potential of let-7c delivery to the kidney in experimental models of disease. These studies will further enhance our understanding of the role of in diabetic kidney disease as both biomarkers and potential novel therapeutic targets.'

The global prevalence of diabetes is predicted to reach 4.4% by 2030, an approximate doubling of the levels in 2000. Up to 40% of patients with diabetes (type 1 and type 2) will develop kidney damage. There is a significant unmet clinical need for sensitive and specific biomarkers of disease progression and effective treatments for diabetic kidney disease.

More information: Brennan, E. et al. Lipoxins attenuate renal fibrosis by induction of let-7c and suppression of TGFβR1. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 2013 (24(4):627-637).

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Restrictions lifted at British bird flu farm

11 hours ago

Britain on Sunday lifted all restrictions at a duck farm in northern England after last month's outbreak of H5N8 bird flu, the same strain seen in recent cases across Europe.

Recorded Ebola deaths top 7,000

Dec 20, 2014

The worst Ebola outbreak on record has now killed more than 7,000 people, with many of the latest deaths reported in Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization said as United Nations Secretary-General Ban ...

Liberia holds Senate vote amid Ebola fears (Update)

Dec 20, 2014

Health workers manned polling stations across Liberia on Saturday as voters cast their ballots in a twice-delayed Senate election that has been criticized for its potential to spread the deadly Ebola disease.

Evidence-based recs issued for systemic care in psoriasis

Dec 19, 2014

(HealthDay)—For appropriately selected patients with psoriasis, combining biologics with other systemic treatments, including phototherapy, oral medications, or other biologic, may result in greater efficacy ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.