Patients with primary focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (pFSGS) suffer from a severe kidney disease in which the kidney filtration units are damaged leading to protein loss to the urine. Treatment is often difficult and many patients ultimately require kidney transplantation. It is very unpredictable whether the disease recurs in the transplanted kidney. It is assumed that patients with pFSGS contain circulating plasma factors (CPFs) causing injury to the kidney filtration units. However, the identity of these factor(s) has not yet been validated. This thesis describes experimental methods for detecting the presence of CPFs in patient plasma damaging cultured kidney cells and how plasma of these patients changes the protein profile of these cells. Furthermore, healthy plasma seems to contain CPF inhibitors. These findings are important for eventual identification of CPFs and improved treatment of patients with pFSGS. Furthermore, diagnostic methods can be developed to predict whether kidney transplantation would be useful.
Dirk (1990) obtained his Master's degree in Molecular Life Sciences at the Radboud University. In 2015 he started with his PhD research at the laboratory of the Department of Kidney Diseases of Radboud university medical center. Currently, he is working as research technician in the same lab.