Louise Pierre started her doctoral research in September 2020 in a joint PhD programme between UMons (Prof. Anne-Emilie Declèves) and UNamur (Prof. Thierry Arnould). Her PhD thesis focuses on the link between obesity and chronic kidney disease (CKD). Lipid overload in kidney cells may indeed cause a decline in the renal function. Proximal tubular cells are particularly sensitive to this lipotoxicity, displaying intracellular lipid droplet accumulation associated with mitochondrial dysfunction and perturbation of the autophagic flux. Moreover, in vivo, these features are concomitant with a dysregulation of AMPK, a master regulator of cellular energy balance. The objective of the PhD thesis of Louise Pierre is to clarify the role of the autophagic pathway as well as the contribution of AMPK in obesity-induced CKD.
End September 2022, Louise participated at the 5th European Workshop on AMPK and AMPK-related kinases in Glasgow, where she presented her experimental results using mouse primary PTEC cells treated with palmitic acid to mimic lipid overload. Her poster communication “Study of the role of AMPK in autophagic dysregulation in renal proximal tubular cells exposed to fatty acids” was awarded with a poster prize!