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Open Access Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Renal Function Recovery After Acute Kidney Injury: Use of a Differentiating Agent in a Rat Model

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Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a major health care condition with limited current treatment options. Within this context, stem cells may provide a clinical approach for AKI. Moreover, a synthetic compound previously developed, hyaluronan monoesters with butyric acid (HB), able to induce metanephric differentiation, formation of capillary-like structures, and secretion of angiogenic cytokines, was tested in vitro. Thereafter, we investigated the effects of human mesenchymal stem cells from fetal membranes (FMhMSCs), both treated and untreated with HB, after induction of ischemic AKI in a rat model. At reperfusion following 45-min clamping of renal pedicles, each rat was randomly assigned to one of four groups: CTR, PBS, MSC, and MSC-HB. Renal function at 1, 3, 5, and 7 days was assessed. Histological samples were analyzed by light and electron microscopy and renal injury was graded. Cytokine analysis on serum samples was performed. FMhMSCs induced an accelerated renal functional recovery, demonstrated by biochemical parameters and confirmed by histology showing that histopathological alterations associated with ischemic injury were less severe in cell-treated kidneys. HB-treated rats showed a minor degree of inflammation, both at cytokine and TEM analyses. Better functional and morphological recovery were not associated to stem cells' regenerative processes, but possibly suggest paracrine effects on microenvironment that induce retrieval of renal damaged tissues. These results suggest that FMhMSCs could be useful in the treatment of AKI and the utilization of synthetic compounds could enhance the recovery induction ability of cells.

Keywords: Acute kidney injury (AKI); Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs); Renal cell biology; Renal function; Stem cells

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: August 1, 2011

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

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