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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Dec 26;104(52):20938-43. Epub 2007 Dec 17.

Staged in vitro reconstitution and implantation of engineered rat kidney tissue.

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1
Departments of Pediatrics, Medicine, Bioengineering, and Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA.

Abstract

A major hurdle for current xenogenic-based and other approaches aimed at engineering kidney tissues is reproducing the complex three-dimensional structure of the kidney. Here, a stepwise, in vitro method of engineering rat kidney-like tissue capable of being implanted is described. Based on the fact that the stages of kidney development are separable into in vitro modules, an approach was devised that sequentially induces an epithelial tubule (the Wolffian duct) to undergo in vitro budding, followed by branching of a single isolated bud and its recombination with metanephric mesenchyme. Implantation of the recombined tissue results in apparent early vascularization. Thus, in principle, an unbranched epithelial tubular structure (potentially constructed from cultured cells) can be induced to form kidney tissue such that this in vitro engineered tissue is capable of being implanted in host rats and developing glomeruli with evidence of early vascularization. Optimization studies (of growth factor and matrix) indicate multiple suitable combinations and suggest both a most robust and a minimal system. A whole-genome microarray analysis suggested that recombined tissue recapitulated gene expression changes that occur in vivo during later stages of kidney development, and a functional assay demonstrated that the recombined tissue was capable of transport characteristic of the differentiating nephron. The approach includes several points where tissue can be propagated. The data also show how functional, 3D kidney tissue can assemble by means of interactions of independent modules separable in vitro, potentially facilitating systems-level analyses of kidney development.

PMID:
18087037
PMCID:
PMC2409245
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.0710428105
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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