London, United Kingdom, July 30, 2019
In the field of transplantation medicine, donor organ shortage continues to be a major unresolved problem. Thus, there is a great unmet need for medical breakthroughs to overcome this deficit and, as Ryuji et al. argue in their latest paper ‘Renal Regeneration: Stem Cell-Based Therapies to Battle Kidney Disease’, published in EMJ Nephrology 7.1, the answer may lie in the regenerative potential of stem cells.
Stem cell therapies has long been a hot topic throughout the medical community, and this is certainly true for the field of nephrology. In this article, Ryuji et al. provides an overview of the latest breakthroughs in renal regeneration using stem cells, discussing exactly what must take place in the coming years to bring this exciting treatment modality from the laboratory to the clinic.
The diverse functions of the kidneys require higher order biological structures, including advanced tubular segments, microvasculature, and a collecting system, making the generation of these tissue types difficult. Recent insights into nephrogenesis have began to bridge this gap, enhancing our understanding of the varied roles of kidney progenitor cells and allowing for the creation of vascularised nephrons in vivo. However, despite these recent developments, the creation of human-sized kidney grafts remains a challenge. Possible solutions may involve blastocytes or targeted organ complementation methods in larger animals; currently, most studies of pluripotent stem cells take place in smaller animals, such as rodents.
Progress in this field is being made at an astonishing rate, and this paper expertly elucidates the current state-of-play and will be useful in directing future studies in this innovative field.
Notes to Editors
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