The functional role of nephrocytes in the immune response of Drosophila melanogaster

Project start
Institution: Universitätsklinik Hamburg-Eppendorf
Applicant: Sybille Köhler
EKFS funding line: First and Second Application

Chronic kidney diseases are among the deadliest diseases worldwide. The immune system is often responsible for tissue damage and signalling pathways associated with the immune system are upregulated in chronic kidney disease. Within this study, we will investigate whether podocytes, important cells of the kidney filter, serve as specialized immune cells and whether they modulate the immune system during disease. In detail, the model organism Drosophila will be used, as the immune system and the kidney cells are highly conserved between flies and humans. The identification and characterisation of novel signalling pathways and functions of podocytes and the immune system will enable the development of new therapeutics to treat chronic kidney diseases.