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A Journal on Nephrology and Urology

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Minerva Urologica e Nefrologica 2009 September;61(3):205-13

language: English

Stem cells in acute kidney injury repair

Tögel F. 1, Westenfelder C. 2

1 Department of Medicine, Jacobi Medical Center, Bronx, New York, NY, USA
2 Department of Medicine/Nephrology and VA Medical Center, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA


New discoveries and developments in the biology and propagation of stem cells have fueled a whole new field of Medicine that has sparked great interest in the scientific community as well as in the general media and public. Stem cells are a very prominent and debated topic and have given ground to a new field of therapy in Medicine, which is called Regenerative Medicine. The kidney is a highly sophisticated and complicated organ, yet stem cell therapies have become of interest to Nephrologists and promising animal data are available showing the use of different stem cell populations in Nephrology. Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a clinical entity caused by a variety of factors resulting in renal damage and loss of function. Although it is reversible up to a point, it contributes tremendously to hospital morbidity and mortality. At the current time there are only supportive treatments available. Stem cell based therapies have the potential to become a broader and diverse treatment approach that is tailored to the pathophysiology of the disease and is therefore potentially more effective than traditional pharmacological approaches. The current article gives an overview about the field in general as well as potential treatment approaches and mechanisms.

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