We published three studies describing immunoregulatory pathways in the kidney, which may be important also for inflammatory diseases affecting other organs.
The first (Gotot et al, JASN 2016) describes that loss of an NFκB transcription factor component exacerbates glomerulonephritis, presumably by incapacitating regulatory T cells. These findings indicate that therapeutic attempts to ameliorate inflammatory kindey diseases by inhibiting NFκB may backfire and harm the patients.
The second (Evers et al, JASN 2016) identifies the function of CD103+ dendritic cells, a new and rare immune cell in the kidney that is critical to control the regulatory T cells. These findings identify a new player in the intrarenal immune system with powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
The third (Ludwig-Portugall et al, Kindey Int 2016) demonstrates that a new inhibitor of the NLRP3 inflammasome is therapeutically effective in a model of crystal nephropathy. These diseases result from rare genetic defects and may cause terminal kidney failure in affected children. This finding hints at a new therapeutic option in these cases.