Kidney is thought to be a regenerative organ in terms of repair from acute tubular injury. It is unknown whether cell population contributes to repair disordered kidney. We attempted to identify and isolate highly proliferative cells from a single cell. We dissected a single nephron from adult rat kidney. Isolated nephrons were separated into segments and cultured. Outgrowing cells were replated after limiting dilution so that each well contained a single cell. One of cell line which was the most potent to grow was designated as rKS56. rKS56 cells showed cobblestone appearance and expressed immature cell markers relating to kidney development and mature tubular cell markers. rKS56 cells grew exponentially and could be maintained for 300 days without transformation. In different culture conditions, rKS56 cells differentiated into mature tubular cells defined by aquaporin-1, 2 expression, and responsiveness to parathyroid hormone or vasopressin. Engrafted to kidney in rat ischemic reperfusion model, rKS56 cells replaced in injured tubules in part after implantation and improved renal function. These results suggest rKS56 cells possess character such as self-renewal, multi-plasticity and capability of tissue repair. rKS56 may possibly contribute to the future development of cell therapy for renal regeneration.