Center for Interdisciplinary and Intercultural Studies

Dr. Kingsley Omage (Biochemistry), Igbinedion University Okada, Nigeria

Understanding Edema Formation in Kidney Diseases: The Role of Urinary Proteases

Proteinuria is characteristic of patients with kidney disease and its level reflects the severity of damage to the kidney. Edema formation is often encountered in these patients and is caused by a defect in sodium excretion by the diseased kidney. The epithelial sodium channel found along the last part of the nephron seems to be activated by urinary proteases that are excreted along with other plasma proteins. Clinical studies have shown the excretion of urinary proteases in patients with proteinuria was associated with overhydration. Recently, the inhibitory effects of the protease inhibitor aprotinin on the urinary protease activity have been demonstrated in mice with experimental nephrotic syndrome (an extreme form of proteinuric kidney disease). Interestingly, this prevented sodium retention and edema formation. These preliminary results point at a therapeutic role of inhibition of urinary proteases in the treatment of proteinuric renal disease and more importantly, the involvement of urinary serine proteases in the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of renal diseases. However, it is unclear which of the many proteases cleave and activate the epithelial sodium channel. Our current research focus is to study the role of these urinary serine proteases and the molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of edema formation in kidney diseases. This is with a view to screening for pharmacological and pathophysiologically relevant serine proteases as well as their inhibitors, for the development of effective and specific therapies. 


Kingsley Omage holds a M.Sc. in Biochemistry (2008) and a Masters in Public Health (2018) from the University of Benin, Nigeria. He obtained his PhD in Clinical Biochemistry (2014) from Ambrose Alli University, Nigeria. He is a Senior Lecturer and Research Scientist at Igbinedion University Okada, Nigeria. His research interests and capacity focus on metabolic and systemic disorders, nutrients in health and diseases, ethno-medicine and ethno-pharmacology, public health nutrition and public health care. He is a member of several scientific societies and has published several peer-reviewed articles in reputable journals, both nationally and internationally. Currently, he is a Humboldt Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Tübingen, Germany. His postdoctoral research at the Universitätsklinikum Tübingen focuses on the role of serine proteases in the regulation of epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) in nephrotic syndrome, an extreme form of kidney diseases.