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.