Potential of mesenchymal stem cells in the repair of tubular injury

Barbara Imberti, Marina Morigi, Ariela Benigni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Current interventions for the treatment of acute kidney injury (AKI) are not satisfactory, and it is time to approach new strategies in order to definitely take a step forward. At its beginning, cell therapy was innovative and promising. We have shown that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), isolated from human and murine bone marrow (BM), behave as an efficacious tool for the treatment of cisplatin-induced AKI in mice in terms of amelioration of renal function and structure, and animal survival. Although the mechanism has not been completely elucidated, we have provided data showing that BM-MSC-mediated renal recovery involves the release at the site of injury of the growth factor, insulin-like growth factor-1. Several biological effects have been observed in renal tissues of mice treated with BM-MSCs, including increased cell proliferation, hemodynamic changes, and cell apoptosis reduction. In the same experimental model, we have tested the effect of MSCs isolated from cord blood (CB-MSCs), which, similar to BM-MSCs, not only ameliorated renal function but also protected animals from death to a remarkably higher extent. Animals receiving CB-MSCs showed reduction of oxidative stress and activation of AKT prosurvival pathway in tubular cells. These results hold great promise for future studies in patients with AKI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-93
Number of pages4
JournalKidney International Supplements
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011


  • acute renal failure
  • kidney regeneration
  • mesenchymal stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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