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Institute/Center: CSIC-UMH - Instituto de Neurociencias (IN)

Author: Laboratorio de Ángela Nieto

Renal fibrosis is a degenerative disease that concurs with progressive functional loss and renal failure. Angela Nieto and colleagues, at the Instituto de Neurociencias in Alicante (CSIC-UMH) have shown that the development of fibrosis requires the activation of an epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) in the renal epithelial cells. These damaged cells send signals to the interstitium to foster the differentiation of collagen-producing myofibroblasts and the recruitment of macrophages, thereby promoting fibrogenesis and sustaining inflammation, the hallmarks of renal fibrosis. They have also shown that systemic treatment with EMT inhibitors attenuates the established disease in mouse models of fibrosis. These results solve a long debate on the origin of myofibroblasts and open new avenues for the design of antifibrotic therapies. Snail1-induced partial epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition drives renal fibrosis in mice and can be targeted to reverse established disease, 2015. doi 10.1038/nm.3901.

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Renal fibrosis