The following is a summary of “The Immune System and Idiopathic Nephrotic Syndrome” published in the  December 2022 issue of Nephrology by Campbell, et al.

Immunosuppressive therapy is frequently effective in treating patients with idiopathic nephrotic syndrome. Despite this, the illness and the medications used to treat it continue to be significant contributors to the morbidity of patients. Idiopathic nephrotic syndrome is almost always brought on by either Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis(FSGS) or minimal change disease, both of which are conditions that focus predominantly on the podocytes. 

Despite decades of research, the root causes of these diseases are still only partially understood at this point. However, a substantial body of observational and experimental evidence links the immune system with minimal change illness and FSGS. This evidence includes connections with systemic infections and hematologic cancers. Idiopathic nephrotic syndrome can be effectively treated with a wide variety of immunomodulatory medications, including biological therapies that have clearly definable immunological targets. This is perhaps the most compelling evidence. In point of fact, the unanticipated efficacy of targeted treatment medicines has led to the discovery of significant new insights into the etiology of many diseases. 

A greater understanding of the immunologic underpinnings of idiopathic nephrotic syndrome may lead to better diagnostic and treatment methods. This is because of the enormous number of medications currently available to deplete or inhibit specific cells and molecules within the immune system.