Parietal and tubular epithelial cells in kidney injury and repair

Tuesday 26 March 2024, 10:30 am
PhD student
J. Eymael MSc.
prof. dr. J. van der Vlag, prof. dr. J.F.M. Wetzels, dr. B. Smeets
dr. J. Jansen

The general aim of this thesis was to characterize kidney epithelial cells that are involved in the development and progression of kidney diseases, and in repair and regeneration of the kidney after injury. Parietal epithelial cells (PECs) are lining the glomerulus and were shown to contribute to glomerular scarring and disease progression. Scattered tubular cells (STCs) are located at the proximal tubule and show a survival and repair response upon injury and may replace lost cells to maintain tubular function. Both cell types play different roles in kidney disease but undergo similar changes upon injury which makes it difficult to find therapeutic targets to enhance regeneration and at the same time attenuate disease progression. The molecular mechanisms involved in those processes need further investigation and cell-specific targeting will be required in the treatment of kidney diseases. The fine balance between “activating the good” and thereby “inhibiting the bad” in kidney disease will be the key in finding new therapeutic approaches. 

Jennifer Eymael studied Biomedical Sciences at Radboud University Nijmegen and successfully finished the Master in 2015. After this, she directly started her PhD research at the department of Pathology under supervision of Dr. Bart Smeets about the role of parietal epithelial cells in glomerular disease and scattered tubular epithelial cells in tubular injury and regeneration. Since 2020, Jennifer works at IQVIA where she coordinates a drug safety project.