This review focus on kidney organoids derived from pluripotent stem cells, which become a real alternative to the use of in vitro cellular models or in vivo animals models. The comprehension of the key steps involved during kidney embryonic development led to the establishment of protocols enabling the differentiation of pluripotent stem cells into kidney organoids that are highly complex and organized structures, composed of various renal cell types. These mini-organs are endowed with major applications: the possibility to control iPSC genome (by selecting patients with specific disease or by genome editing) allows the generation of kidney organoïds which recapitulate important physiopathological mechanisms such as cyste formation in renal polycystic disease. Kidney organoids can also be used in high-throughput screening to fasten the screening of nephrotoxic/therapeutic compounds. Finally, kidney organoids have a huge interest in the context of tissue repair, which remains for now a challenging goal linked with technological barriers that need still to be overcome.
© 2019 médecine/sciences – Inserm.