Researchers Discover Role of White Blood Cells in Kidney Inflammation

Researchers from Australia’s Monash University have made an important discovery about the role of leukocytes, or white blood cells, in kidney inflammation. Leukocytes are immune system cells found throughout the body, where they defend against infectious disease; a high leukocyte count can be a marker of inflammation and disease. Prior to this study, the medical and scientific community believed that leukocytes were only present in diseased kidneys. Using the latest microscopic technology, the Monash researchers found that leukocytes circulate in both healthy and impaired kidneys. According to lead researcher Associate Professor Michael Hickey, when disease is present, leukocytes “…linger in the kidney during the course of their normal journey, become agitated and cause inflammation and kidney damage.”

Armed with this new information about the disease process, scientists are one step closer to identifying specific drug targets that could help patients suffering from glomerulonephritis and other inflammatory kidney maladies.


Kidney Failure Under the Microscope, Monash University, December 17, 2012

2 thoughts on “Researchers Discover Role of White Blood Cells in Kidney Inflammation

  1. I recently went through a delicate process with my younger brother who had Stage Four Melanoma. We did 8 chemo treatments in WV and then went to Cleveland Clinic where he underwent additional therapies and finally a stem cell transplant using his own cultured stem cells. As a desperate, ignorante, diabetic, why could we not take healthy stem cells from glomeruli kidney cells and culture them for later reinsertion into the kidney to let it cause a sloufing off of the damaged cells and replacement of new healthy cells. I know I have oversimplified this but is it a possibility?

  2. Stem cells could very well be used to heal kidneys one day. More research need to be done to discover the best way to implant donor stem cells without causing rejection. And scientists need to figure out how to prompt stem cells to do their work and then stop once their task is completed. Here’s a link to a promising study conducted in Japan. They were able to grow kidney tissue from stem cells.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *