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Publications (3)17.56 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The shortage of transplantable organs provides an impetus to develop tissue-engineered alternatives. Producing tissues similar to immature kidneys from simple suspensions of fully dissociated embryonic renal cells is possible in vitro, but glomeruli do not form in the avascular environment. Here, we constructed renal organoids from single-cell suspensions derived from E11.5 kidneys and then implanted these organoids below the kidney capsule of a living rat host. This implantation resulted in further maturation of kidney tissue, formation of vascularized glomeruli with fully differentiated capillary walls, including the slit diaphragm, and appearance of erythropoietin-producing cells. The implanted tissue exhibited physiologic functions, including tubular reabsorption of macromolecules, that gained access to the tubular lumen on glomerular filtration. The ability to generate vascularized nephrons from single-cell suspensions marks a significant step to the long-term goal of replacing renal function by a tissue-engineered kidney.
    Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 10/2012; 23(11):1857-1868. · 8.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) of bone marrow origin appear to be an attractive candidate for cell-based therapies. However the major barrier to the effective implementation of MSC-based therapies is the lack of specific homing of exogenously infused cells and overall the inability to drive them to the diseased or damaged tissue. In order to circumvent these limitations, we developed a preconditioning strategy to optimize MSC migration efficiency and potentiate their beneficial effect at the site of injury. Initially we screened different molecules by using an in vitro injury-migration setting and subsequently we evaluated the effectiveness of the different strategies in mice with acute kidney injury (AKI). Our results showed that preconditioning of MSCs with IGF-1 before infusion improved cell migration capacity and restored normal renal function after AKI. The present study demonstrates that promoting migration of MSCs could increase their therapeutic potential and indicates a new therapeutic paradigm for organ repair.
    Cell Transplantation 08/2012; · 4.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human amniotic fluid stem (hAFS) cells, a novel class of broadly multipotent stem cells that share characteristics of both embryonic and adult stem cells, have been regarded as promising candidate for cell therapy. Taking advantage by the well-established murine model of acute kidney injury (AKI), we studied the proregenerative effect of hAFS cells in immunodeficient mice injected with the nephrotoxic drug cisplatin. Infusion of hAFS cells in cisplatin mice improved renal function and limited tubular damage, although not to control level, and prolonged animal survival. Human AFS cells engrafted injured kidney predominantly in peritubular region without acquiring tubular epithelial markers. Human AFS cells exerted antiapoptotic effect, activated Akt, and stimulated proliferation of tubular cells possibly via local release of factors, including interleukin-6, vascular endothelial growth factor, and stromal cell-derived factor-1, which we documented in vitro to be produced by hAFS cells. The therapeutic potential of hAFS cells was enhanced by cell pretreatment with glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), which markedly ameliorated renal function and tubular injury by increasing stem cell homing to the tubulointerstitial compartment. By in vitro studies, GDNF increased hAFS cell production of growth factors, motility, and expression of receptors involved in cell homing and survival. These findings indicate that hAFS cells can promote functional recovery and contribute to renal regeneration in AKI mice via local production of mitogenic and prosurvival factors. The effects of hAFS cells can be remarkably enhanced by GDNF preconditioning.
    Stem cells and development 07/2012; 21(11):1911-23. · 4.15 Impact Factor