Abdominal Area, Kidneys & Pelvis

Podocyte-specific extracellular vesicles in membranous nephropathy – Towards intercellular disease signalling and individualized diagnostic procedures

Institution: 3rd Department of Medicine, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf
Applicant: Fabian Braun
Funding line:
Else Kröner Memorial Fellowships

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are small membrane bound spheres, released by almost all cells of the body, that have been identified as critical contributors to cancer cell biology as well as immune and metabolic signaling. Membranous Nephropathy (MN) is a major cause of proteinuric kidney disease and the need for renal replacement therapy. It is caused by damage to the epithelial cells of the kidney filtration unit, podocytes. We aim to characterize the podocyte-specific release and cargo of EVs and identify alterations in MN. Thereby, we will delineate the importance of intercellular signalling through EVs in the kidney, uncover novel disease pathways and lead to non-invasive diagnostic strategies to facilitate improved patient stratification and personalized therapies.

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