Differentiation of murine embryonic stem and induced pluripotent stem cells to renal lineage in vitro

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2009 Dec 25;390(4):1334-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2009.10.148. Epub 2009 Oct 31.


Embryonic stem (ES) cells which have the unlimited proliferative capacity and extensive differentiation potency can be an attractive source for kidney regeneration therapies. Recent breakthroughs in the generation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells have provided with another potential source for the artificially-generated kidney. The purpose of this study is to know how to differentiate mouse ES and iPS cells into renal lineage. We used iPS cells from mouse fibroblasts by transfection of four transcription factors, namely Oct4, Sox2, c-Myc and Klf4. Real-time PCR showed that renal lineage markers were expressed in both ES and iPS cells after the induction of differentiation. It also showed that a tubular specific marker, KSP progressively increased to day 18, although the differentiation of iPS cells was slower than ES cells. The results indicated that renal lineage cells can be differentiated from both murine ES and iPS cells. Several inducing factors were tested whether they influenced on cell differentiation. In ES cells, both of GDNF and BMP7 enhanced the differentiation to metanephric mesenchyme, and Activin enhanced the differentiation of ES cells to tubular cells. Activin also enhanced the differentiation of iPS cells to tubular cells, although the enhancement was lower than in ES cells. ES and iPS cells have a potential to differentiate to renal lineage cells, and they will be an attractive resource of kidney regeneration therapy. This differentiation is enhanced by Activin in both ES and iPS cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activins / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein 7 / pharmacology
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Cell Lineage*
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / drug effects
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / pharmacology
  • Kidney Tubules / cytology*
  • Kidney Tubules / physiology
  • Mice
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / drug effects
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Regeneration


  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein 7
  • Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Activins