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Transpl Immunol. 2004 Apr;12(3-4):241-7.

Engraftment of human early kidney precursors.

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Developmental Biology Laboratory, Safra Children's Hospital, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel.


Kidney transplantation has been one of the major medical advances of the past 30 years; however, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the supply of organs is limited and will not improve with current medical practice. This review summarizes recent data whereby precursors of the adult kidney found in embryos and fetal tissue have been grafted into murine hosts to examine their feasibility as an alternative source for renal transplantation. When obtained at specific time points during human gestation, kidney precursors meet with specific demands; they grow tremendously, differentiate exclusively along the nephric lineage with no evidence of malignant transformation, become vascularised, to a larger extent, by host vessels, and produce urine in host animals. In addition, they exhibit decreased immunogenicity compared to adult counterparts. Organogenesis is best achieved when utilizing early undifferentiated progenitors rather than later-gestation kidneys. Nevertheless, in order for these transplants to be applicable for human transplantation, both a functional urinary anastomosis and derivation of blood supply sufficient to correct biochemical abnormalities remain to be established.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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