Monday, February 14, 2011

Stem cell transplants help kidney damage

David Eve - Transplanting autologous renal progenitor cells (RPCs), (kidney stem cells derived from self-donors), into rat models with kidney damage from pyelonephritis - a type of urinary infection that has reached the kidney - has been found to improve kidney structure and function.

The study, authored by a research team from the Tehran University of Medical Sciences, is published in the current issue of Cell Medicine [1(3)] and is freely available on-line at: .

"Advancements in stem cell therapies and tissue engineering hold great promise for regenerative nephrology," said Dr. Abdol-Mohammad Kajbafzadeh, corresponding author. "Our RPC transplant study demonstrated benefits for pyelonephritis, a disease characterized by severe inflammation, renal function impairment and eventual scarring, and which remains a major cause of end-stage-renal disease worldwide."

The researchers divided 27 rats into three groups, two of which were modeled with an induced pyelonephritis in their right kidneys, while the third group did not have induced disease. RPCs were obtained from the diseased animals' left kidneys and injected into the right kidney six weeks later. Two weeks after injection, tubular atrophy was reduced. After four weeks, fibrosis was reduced and after sixty days, right renal tissue integrity was "significantly improved."

"We propose that kidney augmentation was mainly due to functional tissue regeneration following cellular transplantation," said Dr. Kajbafzadeh. "Kidney-specific stem/progenitor cells might be the most appropriate candidates for transplantation because of their inherent organ-specific differentiation and their capacity to modulate tissue remodeling in chronic nephropathies."

The researchers concluded that because renal fibrosis is a common and ultimate pathway leading to end-stage renal disease, amelioration of fibrosis might be of major clinical relevance. ...

via Stem cell transplants help kidney damage.

This stuff is exciting to me. We are in the infancy of regenerative medicine. I wonder how many of us alive today will be growing new parts when ours wear out?
Stem cell treatments are a type of intervention strategy that introduces new cells into damaged tissue in order to treat disease or injury. Many medical researchers believe that stem cell treatments have the potential to change the face of human disease and alleviate suffering. The ability of stem cells to self-renew and give rise to subsequent generations with variable degrees of differentiation capacities, offers significant potential for generation of tissues that can potentially replace diseased and damaged areas in the body, with minimal risk of rejection and side effects.

A number of stem cell therapeutics exist, but most are at experimental stages and/or costly, with the notable exception of bone marrow transplantation.[citation needed] Medical researchers anticipate that adult and embryonic stem cells will soon be able to treat cancer, Type 1 diabetes mellitus, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, Celiac Disease, cardiac failure, muscle damage and neurological disorders, and many others. Nevertheless, before stem cell therapeutics can be applied in the clinical setting, more research is necessary to understand stem cell behavior upon transplantation as well as the mechanisms of stem cell interaction with the diseased/injured microenvironment. - wikipedia

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