Adult kidney stem/progenitor cells contribute to regeneration through the secretion of trophic factors

Kenji Tsuji, Shinji Kitamura, Yizhen Sang, Kazuhiko Fukushima, Jun Wada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Adult kidney stem cells are known to have important roles in renal regeneration after acute kidney injury. Although trophic factors from tissue stem cells have been reported to promote the regeneration of other organs, there is limited number of evidence of this phenomenon in the kidneys. Here, we explored the effects of secreted factors from kidney stem cells. We intraperitoneally administered culture supernatant obtained from adult rat kidney stem/progenitor cells into rat kidney ischemia/reperfusion injury models, and the treatment significantly ameliorated renal tubulointerstitial injury, suppressed tubular cell apoptosis, diminished inflammation and promoted the proliferation of both residual renal cells and immature cells. In vitro, treatment with culture supernatant from kidney stem cells significantly promoted cell proliferation and suppressed cisplatin-induced cell apoptosis in both normal rat kidney cells and kidney stem cells. In addition, treatment with culture supernatant increased the expression of nestin in normal rat kidney cells, suggesting the dedifferentiation of tubular cells into stem-like cells. Analysis of the culture supernatant revealed that it contained a variety of growth factors. Taken together, the results suggest that these factors together lead to renal regeneration. In conclusion, adult kidney stem cells contribute to renal regeneration indirectly through the secretion of regenerative factors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101865
JournalStem Cell Research
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • Acute kidney injury
  • Growth factor
  • Kidney stem cell
  • Regeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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