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Vitamin treatment for damaged kidneys


A new vitamin treatment for kidneys, which have been damaged by chronic inflammation, could help avoid the need for dialysis or transplantation, following studies in mice.

Researchers at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf and University Hospital Bonn, in Germany, found that in the kidneys specific immune cells called mucosal-associated invariant T cells (MAIT cells) play a protective role in both mice and human patients with kidney inflammation (glomerulonephritis) – a lack of these cells was also linked to more severe disease development.

MAIT cells are activated by derivatives of vitamin B2 (also known as riboflavin) and vitamin B9 (folate), and by giving mice an artificial version of this B2 derivative they were partially, though not entirely, protected from glomerulonephritis.

This approach may supplement current therapies and make them more effective, according to the researchers.


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