An early molecular signature of diabetic nephropathy
The leading cause of total kidney failure in the United States is Diabetic Nephropathy, which is one of the complications of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. An increasing prevalence of diabetes without improved treatment of its complications will mean a rise of kidney failure due to diabetic nephropathy.
DN is currently treated with antihypertensive agents that can slow but cannot stop disease progression. Opportunities for new treatment strategies are increasing rapidly but optimal benefit for patients will require that those at the highest risk of developing kidney failure are identified as early as possible to retain maximal kidney function. Up to 40% of patients with type 1 diabetes will develop diabetic nephropathy.
The current standard for DN diagnosis is the measurement of the urinary albumin excretion rate, which is easy to measure but defines DN at a relatively late stage of development and cannot predict an individual patient’s outcome.
The aim of this project is to use state-of-the-art technology combined with a well documented cohort of patients with samples taken over a number of years so that we can follow the development of DN.
The project aims to develop a new measurement for DN that can predict a patient’s outcome at an earlier stage. It is also expected during the course of the research project that protein changes associated with DN development will help shed more light on disease mechanism. A better understanding can lead to new treatment opportunities.