Stem cells offer new hope for kidney disease patients

Oct 15, 2009
Stem cells offer new hope for kidney disease patients
This is Valerie LeBleu, Ph.D., and Raghu Kalluri, M.D., Ph.D., of the American Society of Nephrology. Credit: none

Several cell-based therapy approaches could provide new treatments for patients with Alport syndrome, reports an upcoming paper in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN). "Our study opens up many considerations of how new therapies related to the use of stem cells can be devised for our kidney patients with chronic disease," comments Raghu Kalluri, MD, PhD (Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA).

Led by Valerie LeBleu, PhD (also of Harvard Medical School), the researchers tested various types of cell-based therapy in mice with a gene defect similar to that causing Alport syndrome, a genetic kidney disease. Most often occurring in boys, Alport syndrome causes progressive kidney disease leading to kidney failure at a young age. Patients may develop hearing loss and eye disease as well. Although treatment can slow the progression of kidney disease, there is currently no cure for Alport syndrome.

The experiments provide evidence that stem cell treatments could repair the kidney defects associated with Alport syndrome. "We found that stem cells derived from adult bone marrow are equally useful as embryonic ," says Kalluri. "This will make it easier to translate these scientific discoveries to a treatment protocol for patients with Alport syndrome."

Transplantation of bone marrow from unaffected animals significantly improved kidney function in mice in the late stages of disease. Importantly, the results suggested that the beneficial effects of may be achieved without the need for radiation.

Simple blood transfusion from healthy mice also achieved dramatic improvements in kidney function and survival in the mice with end-stage kidney disease. " transplant and protocols have already been approved for previous clinical use in patients with end-stage and Alport syndrome," says Kalluri. "Therefore, clinical application of this procedure is quite feasible and may help our patients immediately." Although the results in mice are promising, real effectiveness can only be tested in human clinical trials. Kalluri adds, "Our study is an important step towards that goal."

More information: "Stem Cell Therapies Benefit Alport Syndrome," doi 10.1681/ASN.2009010123

Source: American Society of Nephrology (news : web)

Explore further: mTORC pathway involved in antiphospholipid sx vasculopathy

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Enzyme therapy slows kidney function decline

Apr 08, 2009

For men with Fabry disease, enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) with agalsidase alfa slows deterioration of kidney function, reports a study in the online edition of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN). "The results ...

Childhood kidney disorder has lasting effects

Sep 24, 2009

A kidney condition that can arise in children and was until recently believed to disappear after puberty may persist into adulthood and cause significant long-term complications, according to a study appearing in an upcoming ...

Recommended for you

Antioxidant biomaterial promotes healing

6 hours ago

When a foreign material like a medical device or surgical implant is put inside the human body, the body always responds. According to Northwestern University's Guillermo Ameer, most of the time, that response can be negative ...

Immune response may cause harm in brain injuries, disorders

9 hours ago

Could the body's own immune system play a role in memory impairment and cognitive dysfunction associated with conditions like chronic epilepsy, Alzheimer's dementia and concussions? Cleveland Clinic researchers believe so, ...

One route to malaria drug resistance found

12 hours ago

Researchers have uncovered a way the malaria parasite becomes resistant to an investigational drug. The discovery, at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, also is relevant for other infectious ...

User comments : 0