Kidney regeneration via reprogramming

If we were able to generate nephron progenitors (e.g. from ES/iPS cells or via reprogramming), what could we do with them? Can you reinduce an existing collecting duct network to fuse with a neo-nephron?


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  1. Comment
    sanjay jain

    Yes this is the big question. In the current state I would not think so as the major hurdles include:

    1) normal anatomical connection between the proximal and the distal nephron

    2)prove it is functional and efficient. this is important as kidney as a whole has a huge dynamic range but it is not a very efficient machine as it takes back most of what it filters.

    3)the iPS cell safety will be a concern as it is being learnt that these cells may harbor new deleterious mutations due to going through processing etc.

    In some respects kidney problem is little more challenging than brain as direct physical connections are needed as opposed to interneurons that can function through synapses, still a difficult problem. So, it may be worth looking at alternative ways to replenish non-functioning kidney.

  2. Comment
    Jeffrey Kopp

    Another approach is to study how we might increase the production of stem cells in vivo, e.g. podocyte stem cells or tubular epithelial stem cells, as these cells are already located in niches from which they can emerge to repopulate depleted cell zones.

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