U.S. researchers have created the most comprehensive atlas of the human kidney to help unlock kidney disease research, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced on Wednesday.
It is a major breakthrough toward understanding and treating kidney disease, the NIH said in a release. Data from the kidney tissue atlas will allow the comparison of healthy kidney cells to those injured by kidney disease, helping investigators understand the factors that contribute to the progression of kidney disease and kidney failure or recovery from injury.
The atlas comprises maps of 51 main kidney cell types that include rare and novel cell populations, 28 kidney cellular states that represent injury or disease, a repository of raw gene data, and interactive 3D models of cells and microenvironment relationships created from 45 healthy donor kidneys and 48 kidney disease biopsies.
“With the atlas, we’ve created an interactive, hypothesis-generating resource for kidney disease investigators and clinicians around the world,” said Eric Brunskill, Kidney Precision Medicine Project director at NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.