Research shows that a synthetic peptide appears to stop the inflammation that occurs during nephritis. It enables the kidney to better recover and restore important functions. Whether the peptide is given to the entire body or directly to the kidney, it reduces inflammation and helps the kidney to better recover.
Researchers from the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University carried out this research. National Institute of Health, the American Heart Association, and American Diabetes Association supported this study. This study appears in Kidney International.
How did the research go?
Scientists gave this peptide to an animal model. This helped the animal model having moderate nephritis to avoid problems like inflammation in kidneys, protein in urine and other problems. With the use of this, synthetic peptide levels of urea in the blood dropped. Weight gain, another symptom of kidney failure, also dropped.
They found in the model imitating severe nephritis that there was an 80 percent survival rate in mice. This is a condition which is 100 percent dangerous to the kidneys in human and deadly to the mice.
At later stages of nephritis, small doses of peptide also reduce the level of t cells.
T cells are drivers of immune response and inflammation, moving into the area. This TIP peptide is the synthetic version of TNF or tumor necrosis factor. In the mouse model of nephritis, they saw immune cells arriving at the site of attack resulting in the production of TNF.
High levels of TNF are detrimental to health. TNF activates two main inflammation promoting pathways in the endothelial cells around glomeruli. TNF activates pathways like p38 MAP kinase along with NF-kB. TNF decreases the production of nitric oxide which is a blood dilator. It also decreases the production of prostaglandin E2, which can suppress the immune response and inflammation.
TIP peptide restores the basal levels of nitric oxide and prostaglandin E2. These two factors are protective against nephrotoxic nephritis. In other words, it directly counteracts the negative changes in the kidney.
TNF production suppression is not feasible as it has many health benefits. It fights many infections and toxins present in the body. However, it’s possible to interfere with TNF signaling which causes inflammation in the kidney and not its defense against bacteria.
What did they find?
They found that the TIP peptide delivered reduced inflammation and blood pressure. Consequently, it also decreased blood pressure in spite of consuming a high salt diet. Furthermore, it did not interfere with the defense role of TNF. This peptide gradually improves the overall health of the kidney. It reduces the inflammation in the kidney and ultimately, restores its function.
How this research is helpful?
Recently, steroid therapies have a deleterious effect on immune health. Patients are at more risk of infections and cancers. In the future, this peptide treatment can replace steroid therapy. It can minimize side effects to a greater extent.