Étude des mécanismes d'activation des monocytes circulants chez le greffé rénal.

Chercheurs-boursiers cliniciens -Junior 1 | Concours 2012-2013

Sacha De Serres

Centre de recherche de L'Hôtel-Dieu de Québec (CRCHUQ)


Domaine : Nutrition et métabolisme

In the last twenty years, considerable progress has been achieved in kidney transplantation. The use of new medication to depress the immune system allowed to considerably improve the graft survival in the first year post transplant. However, on the long term, the life expectancy of transplanted kidneys has not increased as much as expected. This is due in part to chronic rejection, which is difficult to treat. Another reason is that anti-rejection drugs are associated with unavoidable toxicity to the transplanted kidney. In addition, depressing the immune system is associated with serious side effects, such as infection and cancer. These undesirable effects are due in a large part to the current immunosuppressive drugs used. 

In order to better fight kidney rejection and reduce drug adverse effects, transplant physicians need to explore new ways to depress the immune system. The aim of our research program is to study a population of cells that received little attention so far, called the monocytes. These cells are intriguing: they can either repair or damage the kidney, depending on the situation. Although their impact in kidney transplantation is still not well defined, there is increasing evidence that they play a key role in the fate of the kidney.

Our challenge is thus to better understand how these cells affect the transplanted kidney. In particular, we want to decipher more precisely when and how they become activated following kidney transplantation. Our hope is that this knowledge will help to individualize immunosuppressive therapy and thus reduce the side effects of the anti-rejection drugs. It should also help to develop better treatments for chronic rejection, which will allow to increase the life expectancy of the transplanted kidneys. These tools could be of benefit not only to kidney transplant recipients, but eventually to recipients of other organs.