Investigating the T and B cell response in Primary Membranous Nephropathy

Principal Investigator – Dr Patrick Hamilton

Membranous nephropathy (MN) is a common cause of kidney disease in adults’ worldwide. Most remain stable throughout their lives but a third of patients’ kidneys will eventually fail and will require dialysis or a transplant. For most patients, this disease is associated with the development of a particular molecule of the immune system called anti-PLA2R.
We are currently using an experimental therapy called Immunoadsorption on a group of patients with MN as this therapy can remove this offending molecule and hopefully control the disease. This presents us with a unique opportunity to understand the disease in more detail.
By using a technique called ELISPOT analysis we will be able to analyse the other important components of the immune system, namely the B & T cells, and how they interact with each other. Understanding this is crucial not only to understanding how the disease is caused but also to help develop more targeted treatments with less side effects.