March 21, 2018
Lupus Research Alliance-Funded Scientists Find Potential Target to Treat Kidney Disease
Novel research initially funded by the Lupus Research Alliance through a grant to Hospital for Special Surgery scientists significantly advanced understanding of kidney damage in lupus.
As reported by Hospital for Special Surgery:
A protein that helps regulate the body’s inflammatory system appears to play a critical role in causing kidney damage in patients with lupus and could be a target for future treatments for autoimmune disease, a new study has found.
Researchers at the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) and their colleagues found that inactivating the protein, called iRhom2, prevented kidney injury in mice vulnerable to developing lupus. Particularly promising, according to the researchers, is that the kidneys of mice lacking the iRhom2 gene were shielded by both a reduction in general inflammation and the prevention of irreversible scarring of the organs — a powerful two-for-one effect.
“A mechanism to block or inhibit iRhom2 would inhibit two key pathways for renal injury in patients with lupus without significant side effects,” said Jane Salmon, MD, Collette Kean Research Chair and Senior Research Scientist at the Hospital for Special Surgery, and Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine, who led the study in collaboration with Carl Blobel, MD, PhD, the V. F. and W. R. Salomon Chair in Musculoskeletal Research and Director of the Arthritis and Tissue Degeneration Program at HSS and Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine.
The researchers reported their findings in the March 5th issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.