Isolation of renal progenitor cells from adult human kidney

Am J Pathol. 2005 Feb;166(2):545-55. doi: 10.1016/S0002-9440(10)62276-6.


We describe here isolation and characterization of CD133+ cells derived from normal adult human kidney. These cells lacked the expression of hematopoietic markers and expressed PAX-2, an embryonic renal marker, suggesting their renal origin. Renal tissue-derived CD133+ cells and clones of individual cells were capable of expansion and limited self-renewal and differentiated in vitro into epithelial or endothelial cells. On subcutaneous implantation in SCID mice, the undifferentiated cells formed tubular structures expressing renal epithelial markers. At variance, when differentiated in endothelial cells, these cells formed functional vessels. On intravenous injection in SCID mice with glycerol-induced tubulonecrosis, the in vitro expanded renal-derived CD133+ cells homed into the injured kidney and integrated in tubules. We propose that CD133+ cells from kidney represent a multipotent adult resident stem cell population that may contribute to the repair of renal injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • AC133 Antigen
  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD
  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Lineage
  • Cell Separation / methods*
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Collagen / pharmacology
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Drug Combinations
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Glycerol / chemistry
  • Glycoproteins / biosynthesis
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Kidney / cytology*
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Kidney Tubules / pathology
  • Laminin / pharmacology
  • Mice
  • Mice, SCID
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • PAX2 Transcription Factor
  • Peptides
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Proteoglycans / pharmacology
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Time Factors
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • AC133 Antigen
  • Antigens, CD
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Drug Combinations
  • Glycoproteins
  • Laminin
  • PAX2 Transcription Factor
  • PAX2 protein, human
  • PROM1 protein, human
  • Pax2 protein, mouse
  • Peptides
  • Prom1 protein, mouse
  • Proteoglycans
  • Transcription Factors
  • matrigel
  • Collagen
  • Glycerol