Frederick Tam, Reader in Renal Medicine Imperial College London
Cytokines are important in the pathogenesis of renal diseases, such as glomerulonephritis and diabetic nephropathy. A large proportion of patients progress to renal failure. Current therapies are still limited by specificity, efficacy and side-effects. Potential therapeutic targets can be identified from investigating the regulatory mechanisms of cytokine synthesis and downstream receptor interaction. In vitro study of purified renal cells and glomeruli has been invaluable in studying the effect of active drug metabolite on renal inflammation. We have also developed rodent models of renal diseases. These in vivo models have similar pathological features to human diseases. Potential therapeutic compounds or antibodies may be delivered after onset of disease, in situations similar to presentation of patients in clinical setting. Specific examples of small molecule inhibitors and biologics will be presented.