Molecular Mechanisms of Membranous Nephropathy – New Avenues Towards an Individualized Therapy
The discoveries of PLA2R1 and THSD7A as target antigens in patients with membranous nephropathy (MN) have revolutionized the research field of this antibody-mediated autoimmune disease. While investigations in regard to PLA2R1 have mainly focused on clinical implications of the measured autoantibody levels in large cohorts of affected patients, THSD7A has attracted more attention for pathogenicity studies due to its endogenous expression in wild-type mice. For the first time, systematic mouse models involving an antigen that is targeted in patients with MN are being developed.
The aim of this Emmy Noether Research Group is the exploration of the molecular mechanisms that lead to glomerular injury in MN. Importantly, the development of novel, pathogenesis-based therapies is central in the work program of this junior group. Insights from these studies, such as new disease pathways or biomarkers, will be validated in patients with MN using a translational platform and correlated with clinical parameters.