Research Group

  • Dr Lorna Marson, Principal Investigator
  • Dr Jeremy Hughes, Co-Investigator


  • University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK


  • Lymph Vessels in Kidney Transplantation

A kidney transplant is an excellent way of treating patients with kidney failure. Despite excellent drug treatments to avoid rejection, 5% of transplants fail every year through processes that lead to atrophy and scarring. There are many factors that contribute to this damage, and one important risk factor is early rejection, which, despite effective treatment, takes its toll in the long term. The work that we plan to undertake focuses on alternative mechanisms of injury, which we believe play a role in this process of scarring and injury. Recent work has demonstrated that new lymphatic vessels develop within the kidney, where they are not normally seen, and that this occurs as part of the rejection process. Cells that have been found to be responsible for this development of new lymphatics are macrophages, which are known to infiltrate into the kidney in response to many injurious agents. We plan to undertake a series of experiments that will investigate how new lymphatic vessels form after transplantation, and we will explore the role of macrophages in promoting this development, specifically examining the mechanisms by which they do so. We will determine whether the growth factor that is specific for lymphatics, VEGF-C, is produced by macrophages. We will use a well-established model of kidney transplantation to examine the impact of blocking the action of VEGF-C on outcome following transplantation. If we demonstrate that such inhibition leads to a reduction in rejection and preservation of function of the transplant, this could be readily translated into the clinical setting and will provide an exciting and novel target for therapy for the condition of chronic graft injury, for which currently there are no specific treatments available.

Progress Report (I)
Final Report