Lleida study demonstrates the protective effect of a protein to reduce the progression of fibrosis of the kidneys

It's a new strategy for treating kidney disease and avoiding dialysis or transplantation

A Lleida study has shown the protective effect of alpha-synuclein protein to reduce the progression of fibrosis of the kidneys, a highly damaging process due to the limited ability of kidney cells to regenerate after injury. This evidence provides a new strategy to reduce the progression of this disease, which until now had no treatment. This finding was published today in the journal Nature Communications.

Renal fibrosis, the formation of fibrous tissue in the kidney, often leads to failure of this organ and kidney failure since there is no treatment. In the case of kidney disease, fibrosis in the kidneys represents a very serious situation, since the kidneys can hardly regenerate and, therefore, their function cannot be recovered and it results in patients needing dialysis or a transplant.

Thanks to this research carried out in kidneys in animal models (mice) and in human tissue (thanks to samples from 43 patients obtained through the Biobank of the Lleida Biomedical Research Institute and the Biobank Platform), the effect has been demonstrated protector of alpha-synuclein protein, a protein commonly found in neurons.

This is a work led from Lleida by the researcher and associate professor at the University of Lleida (UdL), Milica Bozic, and the head of the Vascular and Renal Translational Research Group of the Lleida Biomedical Research Institute (IRBLleida) and associate professor of the UdL, José Manuel Valdivielso, with the collaboration of the Thematic Networks of Cooperative Research in Health (RETICS) RedinRen of the Carlos III Health Institute, the Laboratory of Cellular Biology in Renal Diseases of the Autonomous University of Madrid, the Cycle Laboratory Cell of the University of Lleida, the Department of Pathology and Molecular Genetics of the Arnau de Vilanova de Lleida University Hospital (HUAV).

The research has been supported by research grants PI15/00960 and PI17/00119 from the Carlos III Health Institute, PERIS grant (PERIS 2016-2020, SLT002/16/00178) from the Health Department of the Generalitat of Catalonia , REDinREN (RD12/0021/0026), the Agència de Gestió d'Ajuts Universitaris i de Recerca and the help of the Autonomous Community of Madrid (B2017/BMD-3751 NOVELREN-CM). As well as with the support of researchers Maite Caus, Neus Pedraza, Eloi Garí, Pilar Gallel, Maria José Panadés, Ana Martinez, Elvira Fernández, from IRBLleida; and Raul R. Rodrigues-Diez and Marta Ruiz-Ortega, from the Fundación Jiménez Díaz in Madrid.

Bibliographic reference: Bozic et al. '' Protective role of renal proximal tubular alpha-synuclein in the pathogenesis of kidney fibrosis ''. Nature Communications.

The researchers José Manuel Valdivielso and Milica Bozic have led the investigation