Associate Professor, Medicine: Nephrology
Role of Microparticles in hypertension and vascular disease
My main research interest is in the diagnostic and functional role of microparticles (MP) in renal diseases. MP have received increased attention as universal markers of activation in eukaryotic cells. These vesicles are the product of exocytic budding and consist of cytoplasmic components and phospholipids. Microparticles carry markers of the parent cell. These properties permit detection of specific subpopulations, such as leukocyte-derived, platelet-derived or endothelial microparticles. Recent studies have demonstrated a potential role of these structures as mediators of cellular interactions such as inflammation, coagulation, antigen presentation and apoptosis.
We have observed increased endothelial derived microparticles (EMP) and circulating endothelial cells in active ANCA associated vasculitis that correlate with disease activity. EMP might serve as an early marker of endothelial activation and/ or damage in vasculitis.
We are interested in the functional role of MP in renal conditions where alteration of the immune system takes an important part, such as in auto-immune disease that is mediated by immunologic dysregulation or renal transplantation where the immune system needs to be suppressed to prevent allograft rejection.