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      Restoring the Function of a Diseased Kidney via Its Microvasculature


      Cardiorenal Medicine

      S. Karger AG

      Microvasculature, Regeneration, Nephron

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          Background: Based upon observations which indicate that chronic intrarenal hypoxia and microvascular obliteration play an important role in the pathogenesis of renal scarring and loss of function, the idea is presented that restoration of kidney structure and function by arresting microvascular drop-out and restoring the interstitial capillary network could be a feasible approach to regeneration of a diseased kidney. This paper addresses the reasoning behind this possibility. Summary: A ‘unifying vasculogenic hypothesis' is discussed which proposes that, in hypoxic nephrons which retain poorly functioning vascular and epithelial elements, the disease process can be slowed or arrested, and nephrons regenerated, by adoptive transfer of endothelial progenitor cells to restore interstitial and glomerular vascular integrity. It is suggested that no other cell types are required to achieve this end. Improved differentiation, proliferation, and function of surviving nephrons could be achieved by restoring adequate oxygen delivery via this approach. Key Messages: It is hypothesized that, to regenerate the function of a chronically diseased kidney, it is not plausible to create new nephrons. Restoration of function of surviving nephrons could be achieved by regeneration of the renal microvasculature alone. Based upon observations that have demonstrated the feasibility of adoptive endothelial progenitor cell transfer into the kidney, this hypothesis is worthy of being tested.

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          Most cited references 13

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          Regeneration and Experimental Orthotopic Transplantation of a Bioengineered Kidney

          Over 100,000 individuals in the United States currently await kidney transplantation, while 400,000 individuals live with end-stage kidney disease requiring hemodialysis. The creation of a transplantable graft to permanently replace kidney function would address donor organ shortage and the morbidity associated with immunosuppression. Such a bioengineered graft must have the kidney’s architecture and function, and permit perfusion, filtration, secretion, absorption, and drainage of urine. We decellularized rat, porcine, and human kidneys by detergent perfusion, yielding acellular scaffolds with vascular, cortical and medullary architecture, collecting system and ureters. To regenerate functional tissue, we seeded rat kidney scaffolds with epithelial and endothelial cells, then perfused these cell-seeded constructs in a whole organ bioreactor. The resulting grafts produced rudimentary urine in vitro when perfused via their intrinsic vascular bed. When transplanted in orthotopic position in rat, the grafts were perfused by the recipient’s circulation, and produced urine via the ureteral conduit in vivo.
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            Chronic hypoxia as a mechanism of progression of chronic kidney diseases: from hypothesis to novel therapeutics.

             Perry Fine,  J. Norman (2008)
            In chronic kidney disease, functional impairment correlates with tubulointerstitial fibrosis characterised by inflammation, accumulation of extracellular matrix, tubular atrophy and rarefaction of peritubular capillaries. Loss of the microvasculature implies a hypoxic milieu and suggested an important role for hypoxia when the "chronic hypoxia hypothesis" was proposed a decade ago as an explanation for the progressive nature of fibrosis. Recent data in man provide evidence of decreased renal oxygenation in chronic kidney disease while more direct support for a causal role comes from data in rodent models showing that the decline in renal oxygenation precedes matrix accumulation, suggesting hypoxia may both initiate and promote the fibrotic response. Indeed, in vitro studies show that hypoxia can induce pro-fibrotic changes in tubulointerstitial cells. Additional postulated roles for hypoxia in chronic kidney disease are the sustaining of the inflammatory response, the recruitment, retention and differentiation towards a pro-fibrotic phenotype of circulating progenitor cells and the alteration of the function of intrinsic stem cell populations. Given that accumulating data suggests that chronic hypoxia is a final common pathway to end-stage renal disease, therapeutic strategies that target hypoxia may be of benefit in retarding progression. Normalisation of microvascular tone, administration of pro-angiogenic factors to restore microvasculature integrity, activation of hypoxia-inducible transcription factors and hypoxia-mediated targeting and mobilisation of progenitor cells are all potential targets for future therapy. The limited success of existing strategies in retarding chronic kidney disease mandates that these new avenues of treatment be explored.
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              The suffocating kidney: tubulointerstitial hypoxia in end-stage renal disease.

              Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is characterized by irreversible pathological processes that result in the development of end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Accumulating evidence has emphasized the important role of chronic hypoxia in the tubulointerstitium in the final common pathway that leads to development of ESRD. The causes of chronic hypoxia in the tubulointerstitium are multifactorial and include mechanisms such as hemodynamic changes and disturbed oxygen metabolism of resident kidney cells. Epidemiological studies have revealed an association between CKD and systemically hypoxic conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and sleep apnea syndrome. In addition to tubulointerstitial hypoxia, glomerular hypoxia can occur and is a crucial factor in the development of glomerular disorders. Chemical compounds, polarographic sensors, and radiographical methods can be used to detect hypoxia. Therapeutic approaches that target chronic hypoxia in the kidney should be effective against a broad range of kidney diseases. Amelioration of hypoxia is one mechanism of inhibiting the renin-angiotensin system, the current gold standard of CKD therapy. Future therapeutic approaches include protection of the vascular endothelium and appropriate activation of hypoxia-inducible factor, a key transcription factor involved in adaptive responses against hypoxia.

                Author and article information

                Nephron Exp Nephrol
                Cardiorenal Medicine
                S. Karger AG
                May 2014
                19 May 2014
                : 126
                : 2
                : 82-85
                Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Calif., USA
                Author notes
                *Leon G. Fine, MD, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of California at Los Angeles, 8700 Beverly Blvd. Davis 5093, Los Angeles, CA 90048 (USA), E-Mail leon.fine@cshs.org
                360672 Nephron Exp Nephrol 2014;126:82-85
                © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Pages: 4
                Further Section

                Cardiovascular Medicine, Nephrology

                Regeneration, Microvasculature, Nephron


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