Restoring the renal microvasculature to treat chronic kidney disease

Nat Rev Nephrol. 2012 Feb 7;8(4):244-50. doi: 10.1038/nrneph.2011.219.


Chronic kidney disease is characterized by progressive loss of the renal microvasculature, which leads to local areas of hypoxia and induction of profibrotic responses, scarring and deterioration of renal function. Revascularization alone might be sufficient to restore kidney function and regenerate the structure of the diseased kidney. For revascularization to be successful, however, the underlying disease process needs to be halted or alleviated and there must remain a sufficient number of surviving nephron units that can serve as a scaffold for kidney regeneration. This Perspectives article describes how revascularization might be achieved using vascular growth factors or adoptive transfer of endothelial progenitor cells and provides a brief outline of the studies performed to date. An overview of how therapeutic strategies targeting the microvasculature could be enhanced in the future is also presented.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adoptive Transfer
  • Angiogenesis Inducing Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Microcirculation / drug effects
  • Microcirculation / physiology*
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic / drug effects
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic / physiology
  • Recovery of Function / drug effects
  • Recovery of Function / physiology*
  • Regeneration / drug effects
  • Regeneration / physiology
  • Renal Circulation / drug effects
  • Renal Circulation / physiology*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / drug therapy*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / physiopathology*


  • Angiogenesis Inducing Agents