Stem-cell approaches for kidney repair: choosing the right cells

Trends Mol Med. 2008 Jul;14(7):277-85. doi: 10.1016/j.molmed.2008.05.005. Epub 2008 Jun 12.


With the increasing rate of end-stage renal failure and limited alternatives for its treatment, stem cell (SC) therapy for kidney injury is urgently needed. Choosing the right SC type is the critical step in realizing the potential of this therapeutic approach. Four possible sources of SCs are envisioned for the development of this type of treatment: (i) bone-marrow-derived SCs (BMSCs), (ii) renal adult SCs, (iii) embryonic SCs and (iv) fetal renal SCs. We suggest that resident SCs recently identified in the Bowman's capsule of adult human kidneys might prospectively be the ideal cell type for treatment of both acute and chronic renal injury because they display the potential to differentiate into multiple types of renal cells. However, BMSCs also represent an attractive alternative, especially for the treatment of patients affected by acute renal failure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone Marrow Cells / cytology
  • Humans
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Kidney / surgery*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / pathology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / surgery*
  • Models, Biological
  • Stem Cell Transplantation / methods*
  • Stem Cells / cytology*