Podocytes are the key target cell for injury in proteinuric kidney disorders such as focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), minimal change disease and membranous nephropathy. Sadly, advances in elucidating the molecular architectural details of the podocyte actin cytoskeleton, cell body and intervening slit diaphragm have not yet translated into targeted therapeutic agents for clinical use. For over 60 years nephrologists have been treating glomerular diseases with repurposed, non-specific immunosuppressive drugs, such as steroids and alkylating agents. Clinical responses have been variable with wide side effect profiles, further highlighting the need for the development of agents with a clear mechanistic rationale for their use.
- Copyright © 2016, American Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology