Interstitial nephritis, a common cause of kidney failure, has a complex and largely unknown pathogenesis. In a new published paper in The Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN), a team of researchers led from Karolinska Institutet shows how interstitial nephritis can develop from an autoimmune attack on the kidney’s collecting duct.
Interstitial nephritis describes a type of morbid lesion often seen in patients with kidney failure that is characterised by tubular atrophy and interstitial scarring. The condition can develop from diverse backgrounds, such as adverse reactions to drugs, hypertension and diabetes; in many patients, however, the underlying cause is never identified.
“Our study sheds light on a new pathogenesis of interstitial nephritis and kidney failure,” says researcher Nils Landegren from the Department of Medicine at Karolinska Institutet in Solna. “Our findings suggest that mechanisms similar to those that cause diseases like type 1 diabetes and thyroiditis, in which the immune system targets a specialised type of cell, can also cause interstitial nephritis.”
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