Cell Therapy Could Replace Need for Kidney Transplants

Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) scientists are working on a promising approach for treating chronic kidney disease—regeneration of damaged tissues using therapeutic cells.

James J. Yoo, MD, PhDBy harnessing the unique properties of human amniotic fluid-derived stem cells, WFIRM scientists have demonstrated that the cells could potentially help recover organ function in a pre-clinical model of kidney disease.

“Our results indicate that this type of stem cell could be used as an off-the-shelf universal cell source and may provide an alternative therapeutic strategy for patients suffering from this chronic and debilitating disease,” said senior author James J. Yoo, MD, PhD, professor of regenerative medicine.

Study results were published online in the journal Tissue Engineering Part A.

Researchers found that amniotic fluid stem cells injected into a diseased kidney in a pre-clinical model led to improved kidney function by reducing damage to a group of capillaries that filters waste products from the blood.

Known worldwide for their pioneering research on 3-D bioprinting of tissues and organs, WFIRM researchers have also been tackling kidney disease and the shortage of organs in a variety of ways.

Kidney disease is a global public health problem that can manifest in acute and chronic symptoms. More than 30 million American adults are affected by the disease, and millions more are at risk of developing it, according to the National Kidney Foundation.

Read the news release.