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Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2011 Jan;300(1):F207-18. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00073.2010. Epub 2010 Oct 13.

VEGF-modified human embryonic mesenchymal stem cell implantation enhances protection against cisplatin-induced acute kidney injury.

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  • 1Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong, Jiangsu, China.


The implantation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) has been reported as a new technique to restore renal tubular structure and improve renal function in acute kidney injury (AKI). Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) plays an important role in the renoprotective function of MSC. Whether upregulation of VEGF by a combination of MSC and VEGF gene transfer could enhance the protective effect of MSC in AKI is not clear. We investigated the effects of VEGF-modified human embryonic MSC (VEGF-hMSC) in healing cisplatin-injured renal tubular epithelial cells (TCMK-1) with a coculture system. We found that TCMK-1 viability declined 3 days after cisplatin pretreatment and that coculture with VEGF-hMSC enhanced cell protection via mitogenic and antiapoptotic actions. In addition, administration of VEGF-hMSC in a nude mouse model of cisplatin-induced kidney injury offered better protective effects on renal function, tubular structure, and survival as represented by increased cell proliferation, decreased cellular apoptosis, and improved peritubular capillary density. These data suggest that VEGF-modified hMSC implantation could provide advanced benefits in the protection against AKI by increasing antiapoptosis effects and improving microcirculation and cell proliferation.

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