Stem Cell Research
Stem Cells For Kidney Disease
How do Stem Cells work to treat kidney disease?
Stem cells, in general, are chemically attracted to injured areas of the body. Injured tissues release a class of so-called chemical messengers called cytokines. In the case of kidney disease, the kidneys will release cytokines specific to the kidneys to draw the stem cells to the kidney. The stem cells then regenerate and differentiate into the specific renal cells that are required for regenerate and repair the damaged tissue, such as parenchymal and glomeruli cells. Once the micro-circulation of the kidneys is restored, this lowers the blood pressure of the glomerulus. This, in turn, relieves the ischemia in the kidneys and therefore contribute to overall improvement of blood filtration and circulation. In cases of kidney disease secondary to autoimmune disease, along with enhancing immunity, stem cells are deployed in order to potentially eliminating the autoimmunity by inhibiting T-Cells, adjusting the immune system to work normally. The kidney lesion can be restored.
Kidney regeneration is a challenging but promising strategy aimed at reducing the progression to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and improving the quality of life of patients with ESRD. Adult stem cells are multipotent stem cells that reside in various tissues, such as bone marrow and adipose tissue. Although intensive studies to isolate kidney stem/progenitor cells from the adult kidney have been performed, it remains controversial whether stem/progenitor cells actually exist in the mammalian adult kidney. The efficacy of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in the recovery ofkidney function has been demonstrated in animal nephropathy models, such as acute tubular injury, glomerulonephritis, renal artery stenosis, and remnant kidney. However, their beneficial effects seem to be mediated largely via their paracrine effects rather than their direct differentiation into renal parenchymal cells. MSCs not only secrete bioactive molecules directly into the circulation, but they also release various molecules, such as proteins, mRNA, and microRNA, in membrane-covered vesicles. A detailed analysis of these molecules and an exploration of the optimal combination of these molecules will enable the treatment of patients with kidney disease without using stem cells. Another option for the treatment of patients with kidney disease using adult somatic cells is a direct/indirect reprogramming of adult somatic cells into kidney stem/progenitor cells. Although many hurdles still need to be overcome, this strategy will enable bona fide kidney regeneration rather than kidney repair using remnant renal parenchymal cells.