Stem cells help in the “personalized” treatment of kidney

Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, USA created a kidney from stem cells derived from fibroblasts of adult patients. This model can be used to examine abnormal development of kidney disease, the treatment of patients with acute and chronic renal failure, as well as drug toxicity studies. The results were published Oct. 12, 2015 in Nature Biotechnology.

Researchers at Brigham Women’s Hospital in collaboration with colleagues from the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, HSCI set up an effective method of growing a structured kidney from the stem cells, reprogrammed skin cells from the patients.

On the thus obtained models is supposed to study kidney disease, test drugs and, in the long run, the new technique could help in the reconstruction of damaged kidney tissue, replacing it with a healthy, obtained from the patient’s own cells.

“Kidneys are the most commonly transplanted organs, but demand far outweighs supply,”- says one of the authors of the article Dr. Ryuji Morizane. “We have developed an effective method, transforming skin cells into stem cells and grow from them structures similar to those found in human kidney. We hope that this discovery will be fundamental to the future establishment of functioning renal tissue and eliminates the need for transplants from donors. “

From chronic kidney disease (CKD) suffering from 9 to 11% of the adult US population. This is one of the most serious health problems in the world. In CKD gradually and irreversibly dying nephrons – the functional units of the kidney. For terminal illness treatment is carried out by dialysis and transplantation, but this method has some limitations, due to the lack of compatible donor organs.

Kidneys of human have a certain capacity to repair itself after an injury, but they are unable to regenerate new nephrons. In earlier studies, researchers have successfully grown heart, liver, pancreas or neurons from stem cells by exposure to certain chemicals. However, the cells of renal tissue turned out to be a daunting task.

Using natural scheme of development of kidney, the researchers developed an effective method of creating renal progenitor cells independently creates structures similar to the natural complex components of this organ. In addition, conducted tests of obtained organelles have shown that they can be used to create models of kidney disease, as well as to study the toxicity of drugs.

“This discovery could accelerate the creation of disease models, to assist in the search for new therapies to determine the susceptibility of a particular patient to drug toxicity and once with his help we will be able to replace the damaged kidney tissue on healthy, grown from the cells of the patient,” – says one of the study authors Dr. Joseph V. Bonventre.

“This approach is particularly attractive because the resulting tissue will be” personalized “, or genetically identical to the patient from whom the cells were derived. This technique may eventually lead to the replacement of tissue without the need to suppress the immune system. “