Article

Renal stem cells: fact or science fiction?

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA.
Biochemical Journal (Impact Factor: 4.78). 06/2012; 444(2):153-68. DOI: 10.1042/BJ20120176
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The kidney is widely regarded as an organ without regenerative abilities. However, in recent years this dogma has been challenged on the basis of observations of kidney recovery following acute injury, and the identification of renal populations that demonstrate stem cell characteristics in various species. It is currently speculated that the human kidney can regenerate in some contexts, but the mechanisms of renal regeneration remain poorly understood. Numerous controversies surround the potency, behaviour and origins of the cell types that are proposed to perform kidney regeneration. The present review explores the current understanding of renal stem cells and kidney regeneration events, and examines the future challenges in using these insights to create new clinical treatments for kidney disease.

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