Immune-Mediated Glomerular Diseases -
Basic Concepts and Clinical Implications
Immune-mediated glomerular diseases encompass a heterogeneous group of disorders that cause inflammation within the glomerulus and other compartments of the kidney. Despite recent important discoveries in this field, the immunopathogenesis of the various forms of immune-mediated glomerular diseases remains to be fully elucidated. However, fundamental to each of these diseases is immune-mediated kidney injury, which consists of a specific immune reaction followed by an effector phase with destructive inflammation and renal injury. Currently, treatment for most patients with immune-mediated glomerular diseases relies on unspecific immunosuppressive agents that are hazardous and only partially effective. Immune-mediated glomerular diseases therefore remain a leading cause of end-stage kidney failure in the Western world. Thus, determined efforts to characterize underlying immunopathologic mechanisms and to translate results of these studies into novel treatment concepts are clearly needed for the development of more efficacious and safer therapies for immune-mediated glomerular diseases in the future.
The proposed SFB initiative represents an interdisciplinary approach, including scientists with strong expertise in clinical and experimental nephrology, basic immunology, pathology/anatomy, and physiology. Using state-of-the-art techniques and animal models, combined with prospective studies in a large cohort of patients, our SFB initiative seeks to define central immunopathogenic mechanisms underlying glomerular diseases. These studies are the basic prerequisite for a paradigm shift away from unspecific treatment options toward a pathogenesis-based, personalized approach in the field of immune-mediated glomerular diseases.