Human Kidney Cells Can Generate Pluripotent Stem Cells

Renal tubular cells present in urine can generate human induced pluripotent stem cells

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Normal human kidney mesangial cells can be genetically reprogrammed to produce kidney induced pluripotent stem (kiPS) cells, and renal tubular cells present in urine can be used to generate human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) with excellent ability to differentiate, according to two studies published in the July 1 issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Bi Song, from Monash University in Clayton, Australia, and colleagues reprogrammed normal adult human mesangial cells to pluripotency by retroviral transduction with defined factors, OCT4, SOX2, KLF4 and c-Myc. The kiPS cells were alkaline phosphatase-positive, showed downregulation of mesangial cell markers, and expressed OCT3/4, TRA-1 to 60 and TRA-1 to 81 proteins. The kiPS cells expressed genes that resembled human embryonic stem-cells, and silenced the retroviral transgenes by the fourth passage of differentiation. The kiPS cells expressed markers of all three germ layers, and formed embryoid bodies. Pluripotency was confirmed by the formation of teratomas in immunodeficient mice by injection of undifferentiated kiPS colonies.

Ting Zhou, from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Guangzhou, China, and colleagues present a simple, reproducible, noninvasive method for generating iPSCs from renal tubular cells present in urine. Many problems faced by other protocols of generating iPCS were eliminated by this method, with the resulting iPSCs having an excellent ability to differentiate.

"These two articles demonstrate the feasibility of using kidney cells as a source of iPSCs, and efficient production of adult iPSCs from urine means that cells can be collected at anytime, eliminating the need for cell banks," writes the author of an accompanying editorial.

Abstract - Song
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)
Abstract - Zhou
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)
Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Physician's Briefing