Researchers from Kyoto University in Japan have employed a novel stem cell therapy that could lead to a treatment for acute kidney injury (AKI). Working with a mouse model of AKI, the scientists administered renal progenitor cells—early, short-lived kidney cells—created from human induced pluripotent stem cells. Interestingly, the transplanted progenitor cells did not need to integrate into the kidney tissue in order to improve kidney injury and lessen fibrosis, or kidney scarring. The researchers believe the therapeutic effect is at least partly due to two protective proteins secreted by the progenitor cells. Further investigation into the mechanism behind the healing benefits could uncover a potential drug target for acute kidney injury.
iPSCs Show Promise for Kidney Treatment, ScienceDaily, July 20, 2015
Cell Therapy Using Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Renal Progenitors Ameliorates Acute Kidney Injury in Mice, Stem Cells Translational Medicine, July 2015