The growing interest of research in the field of renal stem cells and kidney regeneration aims to get results that allow its clinical application, favoring the birth and development of regenerative medicine.
Nephrogenesis requires differentiation into epithelial cells of a population of progenitor mesenchymal cells. Since this process ends at 36-38 weeks of gestational age, it is quite likely to imagine that such a population disappears in the human kidney after birth. However, several studies have identified in different parts of the adult kidney cells having the characteristics of stem cells that would be involved in renal regenerative processes. They may be classified as resident mesenchymal/epithelial progenitors and often share the same genetic and epigenetic profile as progenitor stem cells active during embryonic life, thus suggesting a common origin.
Current literature includes two lines of thought: one attributes to stem cells a fundamental role in renal regeneration processes while the other sustains the intervention of other mechanisms.
The aim of this review is to report on progress made in research in the field of kidney regeneration starting from the past century and arriving at the present, with an analysis of scientific works that have produced the most important results in this field.
Proceedings of the 2nd International Course on Perinatal Pathology (part of the 11th International Workshop on Neonatology · October 26th-31st, 2015) · Cagliari (Italy) · October 31st, 2015 · Stem cells: present and future
Guest Editors: Gavino Faa, Vassilios Fanos, Antonio Giordano