Leading the way to a cure


Complement as a Target to Prevent aPL-induced Nephropathy

Girardi, Guillermina, PhD

The Hospital for Special Surgery

Antiphospholipid (aPL) antibody-induced nephropathy  occurs in 40% of lupus patients with aPL antibodies, yet  the disease process behind aPL-induced kidney injury is poorly understood and available treatments are not  completely effective. 

Dr. Girardi and her group previously demonstrated that  activation of the complement system (a set of proteins  designed to protect against infection and help clear cellular debris) is significantly involved in aPL antibody-induced pregnancy loss, also a manifestation of the antiphospholipid syndrome. With their ALR grant, they are using a new mouse model of aPL-induced kidney injury to define the contribution of complement to kidney thrombosis associated with aPL  antibodies. The goal is to determine the activation pathway(s) that initiate(s) complement activation and identify the  complement components and receptors resulting in  nephropathy. 

What this study means for people with lupus: Identifying and characterizing the key steps in the disease process of aPL-antibody induced nephropathy will help researchers define targets that could be used in developing treatments for lupus patients with aPL antibodies. 

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