World Kidney Day 2022


We highlight today the World Kidney Day focusing  “Kidney Health for All. Increasing Knowledge for Better Kidney Care” in a clear alignment with the purpose of the "Dias D de Ciência NMS" initiative, to contribute to the scientific and health literacy of the Portuguese by sharing the Science made at NOVA Medical School. 

We share examples of fundamental, translational and clinical research work carried out at CEDOC and NOVA Medical School. 

Did you know that in the Cilia Regulation and Disease Laboratory, led by Susana Lopes, researchers use zebrafish to study chronic diseases, such as polycystic kidney disease?

Susana Lopes's team studies the molecular mechanisms that underlie the regulation of cilia length and motility. Cilia are cellular organelles that protrude from almost every cell. Cilia may be motile or immotile, and may appear isolated or in bundles per cell.

All types of cilia are thought to have signaling properties and Important signaling pathways during animal development and disease have been related to cilia. Defects in these pathways trigger ciliary length and motility problems. To study the regulation of cilia lenth and motility, there researchers use the zebrafish embryo because it has many ciliated organs of all cilia types and offers excellent opportunities for live imaging due to its transparency as well as genetic advantages. 

An example of one of these studies is autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), in which there is renal cyst growth. Susana Lopes and her team, in collaboration with Joaquim Calado e Fernando Nolasco, nerphrologists and researchers at NMS and CHULC-Hospital Curry Cabral, studied the fish's Kupffer vesicle and found that it contains the key proteins involved in the disease ADPKD and that it behaves like a kidney cyst. Thus, this model system constitutes a simple and rapid platform for the selection of potential drugs to prevent the growth of renal cysts in a preclinical phase.


Additionally, we share a message from Aníbal Ferreira, nephrologist, researcher and professor at NOVA Medical School and CHULC-Hospital Curry Cabral, alerting to the important role of the kidneys in global health.