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      Glomerular Regeneration: When Can the Kidney Regenerate from Injury and What Turns Failure into Success

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          Abstract

          Background: For many years, the glomerulus was considered incapable of regeneration. However, experimental and clinical evidence challenged this concept and showed that glomerular injury and even glomerulosclerosis can undergo regression under certain circumstances. The problem with glomerular regeneration is centered around the podocyte, a highly specialized cell that is the critical constituent of the glomerular filtration barrier. Summary: Podocytes are characterized by a complex cytoskeleton that makes them unable to proliferate. Thus, once their depletion reaches a specific threshold, it is considered to be irreversible. The discovery of cells with the aptitude to differentiate into podocytes in the adult kidney, i.e. renal progenitor cells (RPCs), was a critical step in understanding the mechanisms of glomerular repair. Accumulating evidence suggests that a tight regulation of many different signaling pathways, such as Notch, Wnt, and microRNA, is involved in a correct regenerative process and that an altered regulation of these same signaling pathways in RPCs triggers the generation of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis lesions. In particular, regeneration is severely impaired by proteinuria, when albumin sequesters retinoic acid and blocks RPC differentiation in podocytes. Key Messages: RPC maintenance and differentiating potential are regulated by complex mechanisms that can be implemented following glomerular injury and can be manipulated to activate regeneration for therapeutic purposes. A better understanding of the phenomenon of glomerular regeneration paves the way for the prevention and treatment of glomerular diseases.

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          Most cited references 23

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          Isolation and characterization of multipotent progenitor cells from the Bowman's capsule of adult human kidneys.

          Regenerative medicine represents a critical clinical goal for patients with ESRD, but the identification of renal adult multipotent progenitor cells has remained elusive. It is demonstrated that in human adult kidneys, a subset of parietal epithelial cells (PEC) in the Bowman's capsule exhibit coexpression of the stem cell markers CD24 and CD133 and of the stem cell-specific transcription factors Oct-4 and BmI-1, in the absence of lineage-specific markers. This CD24+CD133+ PEC population, which could be purified from cultured capsulated glomeruli, revealed self-renewal potential and a high cloning efficiency. Under appropriate culture conditions, individual clones of CD24+CD133+ PEC could be induced to generate mature, functional, tubular cells with phenotypic features of proximal and/or distal tubules, osteogenic cells, adipocytes, and cells that exhibited phenotypic and functional features of neuronal cells. The injection of CD24+CD133+ PEC but not of CD24-CD133- renal cells into SCID mice that had acute renal failure resulted in the regeneration of tubular structures of different portions of the nephron. More important, treatment of acute renal failure with CD24+CD133+ PEC significantly ameliorated the morphologic and functional kidney damage. This study demonstrates the existence and provides the characterization of a population of resident multipotent progenitor cells in adult human glomeruli, potentially opening new avenues for the development of regenerative medicine in patients who have renal diseases.
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            Reversal of lesions of diabetic nephropathy after pancreas transplantation.

            In patients with type I diabetes mellitus who do not have uremia and have not received a kidney transplant, pancreas transplantation does not ameliorate established lesions of diabetic nephropathy within five years after transplantation, but the effects of longer periods of normoglycemia are unknown. We studied kidney function and performed renal biopsies before pancreas transplantation and 5 and 10 years thereafter in eight patients with type I diabetes but without uremia who had mild to advanced lesions of diabetic nephropathy at the time of transplantation. The biopsy samples were analyzed morphometrically. All patients had persistently normal glycosylated hemoglobin values after transplantation. The median urinary albumin excretion rate was 103 mg per day before transplantation, 30 mg per day 5 years after transplantation, and 20 mg per day 10 years after transplantation (P=0.07 for the comparison of values at base line and at 5 years; P=0.11 for the comparison between base line and 10 years). The mean (+/-SD) creatinine clearance rate declined from 108+/-20 ml per minute per 1.73 m2 of body-surface area at base line to 74+/-16 ml per minute per 1.73 m2 at 5 years (P<0.001) and 74+/-14 ml per minute per 1.73 m2 at 10 years (P<0.001). The thickness of the glomerular and tubular basement membranes was similar at 5 years (570+/-64 and 928+/-173 nm, respectively) and at base line (594+/-81 and 911+/-133 nm, respectively) but had decreased by 10 years (to 404+/-38 and 690+/-111 nm, respectively; P<0.001 and P=0.004 for the comparisons with the base-line values). The mesangial fractional volume (the proportion of the glomerulus occupied by the mesangium) increased from base line (0.33+/-0.07) to 5 years (0.39+/-0.10, P=0.02) but had decreased at 10 years (0.27+/-0.02, P=0.05 for the comparison with the baseline value and P=0.006 for the comparison with the value at 5 years), mostly because of a reduction in mesangial matrix. Pancreas transplantation can reverse the lesions of diabetic nephropathy, but reversal requires more than five years of normoglycemia.
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              Mechanisms of progression and regression of renal lesions of chronic nephropathies and diabetes.

              The incidence of chronic kidney diseases is increasing worldwide, and these conditions are emerging as a major public health problem. While genetic factors contribute to susceptibility and progression of renal disease, proteinuria has been claimed as an independent predictor of outcome. Reduction of urinary protein levels by various medications and a low-protein diet limits renal function decline in individuals with nondiabetic and diabetic nephropathies to the point that remission of the disease and regression of renal lesions have been observed in experimental animals and even in humans. In animal models, regression of glomerular structural changes is associated with remodeling of the glomerular architecture. Instrumental to this discovery were 3D reconstruction studies of the glomerular capillary tuft, which allowed the quantification of sclerosis volume reduction and capillary regeneration upon treatment. Regeneration of capillary segments might result from the contribution of resident cells, but progenitor cells of renal or extrarenal origin may also have a role. This review describes recent advances in our understanding of the mechanisms and mediators underlying renal tissue repair ultimately responsible for regression of renal injury.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                NEE
                Nephron Exp Nephrol
                10.1159/issn.1660-2129
                Cardiorenal Medicine
                S. Karger AG
                978-3-318-02677-1
                978-3-318-02678-8
                1660-2129
                2014
                May 2014
                19 May 2014
                : 126
                : 2
                : 70-75
                Affiliations
                aExcellence Centre for Research, Transfer and High Education for the Development of De Novo Therapies (DENOTHE), University of Florence, and bPediatric Nephrology Unit, Meyer Children's Hospital, Florence, Italy
                Author notes
                *Anna Peired, Department of Biomedical, Experimental and Clinical Sciences, University of Florence, Viale Pieraccini 6, IT-50139 Florence (Italy), E-Mail anpeired@unifi.it
                Article
                360669 Nephron Exp Nephrol 2014;126:70-75
                10.1159/000360669
                24854644
                © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Pages: 6
                Categories
                Further Section

                Cardiovascular Medicine, Nephrology

                Podocytes, Kidney regeneration, Renal progenitors

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