Kidney regeneration with stem cells: an overview

Takashi Yokoo
Nephron. Experimental Nephrology 2014, 126 (2): 54

BACKGROUND: Kidney regeneration is currently gaining considerable attention in place of kidney dialysis as the ultimate therapeutic strategy for renal failure. However, because of anatomical complications, the kidney is believed to be the hardest organ to regenerate. Such a complicated organ is virtually impossible to imagine being completely rebuilt de novo from stem cells. Nevertheless, several research groups are attempting this large challenge.

SUMMARY: There are 4 major strategies for de novo kidney regeneration from stem cells. These strategies include the use of: (i) a decellularized cadaveric scaffold, (ii) blastocyst decomplementation, (iii) a nephrogenic niche for growing a xeno-embyro, and (iv) self-assembly potential. All of these strategies may be applicable in the clinical setting, but a substantial preparation period appears to be required.

KEY MESSAGES: Although many outstanding problems remain for kidney regeneration, including ethical issues and the formation of chimeric structures, trials provide hope for dialysis patients and kidney regeneration is expected to be a reality in the future.

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