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Trends Mol Med. 2008 Jul;14(7):277-85. doi: 10.1016/j.molmed.2008.05.005. Epub 2008 Jun 12.

Stem-cell approaches for kidney repair: choosing the right cells.

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Excellence Center for Research, Transfer and High Education DENOthe (De Novo Therapies), University of Florence, V. le Morgagni 85, 50134, Florence, Italy.


With the increasing rate of end-stage renal failure and limited alternatives for its treatment, stem cell (SC) therapy for kidney injury is urgently needed. Choosing the right SC type is the critical step in realizing the potential of this therapeutic approach. Four possible sources of SCs are envisioned for the development of this type of treatment: (i) bone-marrow-derived SCs (BMSCs), (ii) renal adult SCs, (iii) embryonic SCs and (iv) fetal renal SCs. We suggest that resident SCs recently identified in the Bowman's capsule of adult human kidneys might prospectively be the ideal cell type for treatment of both acute and chronic renal injury because they display the potential to differentiate into multiple types of renal cells. However, BMSCs also represent an attractive alternative, especially for the treatment of patients affected by acute renal failure.

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