Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is of great medical and socio-economic significance and is associated with high mortality. CKD can result from either systemic diseases, such as diabetes mellitus and arterial hypertension, or diseases primarily affecting the kidney, such as primary glomerular diseases, tubular defects, and cystic kidney disease. Regardless of the underlying cause of CKD, the tubular system and interstitial cells are critically involved in either the development or progression of chronic kidney disease and thus have a central position in the pathogenesis of this common disease.
Normally, the different cell types of the tubular system and interstitium work together in a coordinated and finely tuned way, thereby allowing the kidney to adapt to various physiological needs. Importantly, many renal disease processes also affect more than one cell type and elicit complex responses in tubules and interstitium. These processes can turn maladaptive and aggravate disease progression. The underlying mechanisms are yet poorly understood and examining the exact nature of the complex crosstalk between tubular cells and interstitial cells is technically demanding and requires an integrative, multidisciplinary approach.
The overarching aim of CRC 1350 is to gain insights into the (patho-) physiology of the tubular system and the renal interstitium using a comprehensive and interdisciplinary strategy. In particular, we aim to improve understanding of the diverse functions of the various cell types and their crosstalk during disease progression and regeneration processes in the kidney. The expected results of the collaboration between basic researchers and clinical scientists can help identify novel targets and develop future therapeutic strategies for chronic kidney disease.
“Localization” of the projects within the tubulo-interstitium.
The focus of the projects of Research Area A is on the function of the tubular epithelium, on epithelial mechanisms of cyst formation and transport-related pathophysiology. Research Area B addresses the manifold functions of interstitial cells and their role in (mal-) adaptive processes. Research Area C studies processes involving both tubular cells and interstitial cells as well as the complex interaction between both.