NEPHSTROM researchers from NUI Galway present research on Biomarkers in Diabetic Kidney Disease at the 54th ERA-EDTA Annual Congress

NEPHSTROM researchers, Dr Nahidul Islam and Dr Tomás Griffin from the National University of Ireland, Galway presented their work on Diabetic Kidney Disease at the 54th ERA-EDTA Congress in Madrid, Spain. ERA-EDTA is the largest Society for Kidney Specialists in Europe and the meeting brings together experts in kidney disease from around the world.

In an oral presentation entitled “Serum and urine soluble TNFR-1 and TNFR-2 differentially correlate with eGFR and albuminuria in diabetic kidney disease”, Drs Griffin and Islam described the results of a research study in which the levels of two disease-related proteins (“biomarkers”) – soluble TNFR-1 and soluble TNFR-2 – were measured in paired serum and urine samples collected from adults with different stages of Diabetic Kidney Disease attending Galway University Hospitals. They showed that the blood levels of these biomarkers are very closely associated with current kidney function but are less closely associated with the amount of protein (albumin) in the urine. When the biomarkers were measured in urine, however, the levels were more closely associated with the amount of urine albumin. The study suggests that measurements of sTNFR1 and sTNFR2 are promising biomarkers for tracking responses to novel therapies during the forthcoming NEPHSTROM Phase 1b/2a clinical trial of allogeneic MSCs (ORBCEL M®) in DKD.

In a poster presentation entitled “Factors released by human mesenchymal stem cells suppress glucose-induced inflammatory responses of stable renal proximal tubular epithelial cell monolayers”, Dr. Islam described the development of a culture system to investigate how bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (BM-MSC) influence the effects of different glucose levels on cells from the kidney. This study showed that culturing BM-MSC in close proximity to human renal proximal tubular epithelial cells (RPTEC), reduces the effect of high glucose levels to stimulate an inflammatory response. Further investigation using this culture system will help NEPHSTROM researchers to identify the mechanisms involved in this “anti-inflammatory” effect of BM-MSC on kidney cells under diabetic conditions.