Researchers move one step closer towards functioning kidney tissue from stem cells

March 2, 2018, Murdoch Children's Research Institute
Researchers move one step closer towards functioning kidney tissue from stem cells
Credit: Murdoch Children's Research Institute

Researchers from the Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI), University of Melbourne and Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC) in The Netherlands have made an important step towards making human kidneys from stem cells that they one day hope can be used to treat kidney disease.

The research is part of a regenerative medicine project in which human stem cells are used to develop kidneys with functioning tissue as an alternative for renal replacement. In 2015, Professor Melissa Little and her team grew from stem cells that can be used in drug screening and disease. Researchers across the globe now use this method.

"The mini- we have grown in the laboratory has all the different cell types and structures found in a 'real' kidney, but so far we haven't managed to properly attach the blood vessel system in a culture dish and achieve sufficient maturation of this kidney tissue", explains LUMC researcher Cathelijne van den Berg.

In this new research, published in Stem Cell Reports, the Australian and Dutch teams transplanted the stem-cell derived kidney organoid under the protective layer surrounding the kidney of a living mouse. They were able to see blood flow through the filtration units of the human kidney organoid by making this tissue using gene-edited stem lines of different colours. This also helped them to discover connections between the blood vessels of the mouse and the human kidney tissue. After four weeks of transplantation, the kidney tubules and blood vessels showed evidence of fully developed adult kidney tissue.

'The fact that we can make kidney tissue from human and have this develop into mature kidney tissue after transplantation is a very promising step towards developing this further for treatment", said Professor Melissa Little from the Murdoch Children's Research Institute.

Chronic kidney disease is rising in incidence by 6% per annum and costs the Australian economy $1 billion a year. It is estimated by Kidney Health Australia that 1 in 10 Australians will show evidence of by 2020, but only 1 in 4 patients will receive a transplant. Hence, there is an acute need to develop new therapies.

"There is a long way to go to make the tissue large enough for treatment, but knowing that it will begin to function is an important step along the way", said Professor Little.

Explore further: Scientists create functioning kidney tissue

Related Stories

Scientists create functioning kidney tissue

February 9, 2018
Scientists have successfully produced human kidney tissue within a living organism which is able to produce urine, a first for medical science.

Research compares mouse and human kidney development

February 15, 2018
Three new research articles compare human kidney development with a well-studied mouse model of kidney development to identify shared and novel features. The results, which appear in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the ...

Stem cell-derived kidneys connect to blood vessels when transplanted into mice

November 19, 2015
Various research groups are collecting different types of cells and turning them into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells that can then generate diverse types of cells and tissues in the body. Now investigators have transplanted ...

In boost for transplants, kidney tissue grown in lab

October 7, 2015
Scientists said Wednesday they had grown rudimentary human kidney tissue from stem cells, a key step towards the Holy Grail of fully-functional, lab-made transplant organs.

Method to create kidney organoids from patient cells provides insights on kidney disease

November 17, 2016
A new method to create kidney organoids from patient cells may provide insights into how kidney diseases arise and how they should be treated. The research will be presented at ASN Kidney Week 2016 November 15¬-20 at McCormick ...

Researchers generate kidney tubular cells from stem cells

December 19, 2013
Researchers have successfully coaxed stem cells to become kidney tubular cells, a significant advance toward one day using regenerative medicine, rather than dialysis and transplantation, to treat kidney failure. The findings ...

Recommended for you

Buruli ulcer: Promising new drug candidate against a forgotten disease

December 19, 2018
Buruli ulcer, a neglected tropical disease, is debilitating and stigmatising. Affecting mainly children in West and Central Africa, the chronic disease results in devastating skin lesions and can lead to permanent disfigurement ...

A versatile vaccine that can protect mice from emerging tick-borne viruses

December 18, 2018
A group of researchers led by Michael Diamond of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have developed a vaccine that is effective in mice against Powassan virus, an emerging tick-borne virus that can cause ...

How cholera bacteria make people so sick

December 18, 2018
The enormous adaptability of the cholera bacterium explains why it is able to claim so many victims. Professor Ariane Briegel from the Leiden Institute of Biology has now discovered that this adaptability is due to rapid ...

Green leafy vegetables may prevent liver steatosis

December 17, 2018
A larger portion of green leafy vegetables in the diet may reduce the risk of developing liver steatosis, or fatty liver. In a study published in PNAS researchers from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden show how a larger intake ...

Discovery of novel mechanisms that cause migraines

December 17, 2018
Researchers at CNRS, Université Côte d'Azur and Inserm have demonstrated a new mechanism related to the onset of migraine. They found how a mutation that causes dysfunction in a protein which inhibits neuronal electrical ...

RNA processing and antiviral immunity

December 14, 2018
The RIG-I like receptors (RLRs) are intracellular enzyme sentries that detect viral infection and initiate a first line of antiviral defense. The cellular molecules that activate RLRs in vivo are not clear.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.