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Therapeutic use of recombinant AIM to improve renal transplant outcomes

Dr. Lakshman Gunaratnam
University of Western Ontario
Canadian Donation and Transplantation Research Program
2020 - 2022

Lay Summary

A kidney transplant has the potential to prolong the life of people with kidney failure and immensely improve their quality of life. A major limitation of organ donation is the short lifespan of the organs when transplanted into a person. The damage that happens to an organ during the transplant process (e.g. lack of blood flow to the organ), and then from the person’s immune system (i.e. rejection) are major factors that determine the lifespan of transplanted kidneys. At the molecular level, this damage is caused by dying kidney cells which release their contents into the body and activate an immune response. Our laboratory has discovered a potential therapeutic agent, called “AIM”, which, when given immediately following transplant surgery, can help remove the contents that are released from dying cells and prevent further damage to the transplanted kidney. We now would like to test whether AIM can help prolong the lifespan of transplanted kidneys in an animal model that is similar to human transplantation; where the animals have different genetic backgrounds from each other. We expect that giving AIM to people that receive kidney transplants will reduce the damage caused by transplantation surgery and the effects of the immune response. AIM may become a revolutionary treatment used to make kidney transplants last longer in people with kidney failure.