Effects of Stem Cells on Renal / Kidney Failure

Chronic kidney failure has devastating consequences for the affected person and their loved ones. In many cases, the torturous hope for a kidney transplant is all the patient has. Now, stem cells are able to significantly improve kidney function by regenerating their tissue structure – with low or even no side effects. 

Besides the dreadful suffering for the patient, chronic kidney failure (CKF) is one of the heaviest financial burdens on health care systems all over the world. With a lack of matched donors for kidneys, dialysis fills the gap for many patients waiting for a suitable transplant. A new chance to delay the need for a transplant or to avoid it entirely has recently emerged with stem cell therapies, the first treatments which have shown to improve kidney function. The treatment with autologous mesenchymal stem cells has been proven safe and effective in several human clinical trials [1].The capability of stem cells to regenerate damaged tissues and organs has been extensively discussed in the scientific world [2]: Possible treatments included the protection and regeneration of the functionality of impaired renal parenchyma in chronic kidney failure. Stem cells can do this by down-regulating inflammation, both a cause of and secondary effect in kidney disease, as well as suppressing apoptosis, which is the programmed death of critically damaged cells. Furthermore, they activate resident stem cells in the kidney, which can replace damaged parenchymal cells. As a bonus, the regeneration effected by the stem cells does not only work for the damaged renal tissue of the kidney, but also for other organs which were secondarily damaged by the side effects of CKF, such as failure of the heart and multiple other organs [3].
Recent research has shown that most of the beneficial effects of stem cells on damaged organs are related to their release of soluble factors such as micro-vesicles, cytokines and micro-RNA – all components of the stem cell secretome. At ANOVA’s stem cell laboratory, we performed further research focused on therapies employing high-concentration secretome products. In these advanced stem cell therapy regimes, the stem cells are cultivated under specific laboratory conditions (in vitro) to yield larger amounts of secretome products than they would in the body (in vivo). Besides the higher concentrations of secretome solutes available for treatment, this has the added benefit of being a cell free treatment regime, since only the secretome is used for the treatment. The avoidance of direct stem cell injection removes any possible risks related to the stem cells themselves.
Contrary to stem cell treatments employing actual stem cell transplants, secretome therapy allows repetitive, serial treatments after a single harvesting of stem cells from subcutaneous fat. Up to 60 charges of secretome can be produced from a standard harvesting, sometimes even more. In comparison to single-time bone marrow stem cell treatments the repetitive treatments allow a prolonged and more effective therapeutic effect.The beneficial effects of the secretome from adipose derived stem cells are subject of several clinical trials on kidney failure. The secretome has been shown to effect revascularization of ischaemic renal tissue, re-modulation of scar and fibrotic tissues and replacement of damaged renal parenchymal cells with the result of improved renal function [4]. That might be the effect which can help you father kidneys in case kidney transplantation is not an option.
This new secretome stem cells therapy depends on a harvest of small amounts of the fat tissue that is processed in a GMP-approved laboratory.

References and Literature - Stem Cell-based Therapies for Kidney (Click for more)

[1] Wang, Youwei, et al. "Safety of mesenchymal stem cells for clinical application." Stem cells international 2012 (2012).
[2] Tsuji, Wakako, J. Peter Rubin, and Kacey G. Marra. "Adipose-derived stem cells: Implications in tissue regeneration." World journal of stem cells 6.3 (2014): 312
[3] Long, David A., Jill T. Norman, and Leon G. Fine. "Restoring the renal microvasculature to treat chronic kidney disease." Nature Reviews Nephrology 8.4 (2012): 244-250.
[4] Tetta, Ciro, et al. "The role of microvesicles in tissue repair." Organogenesis 7.2 (2011): 105-115.
[5] El Nahas, A. Meguid, and Aminu K. Bello. "Chronic kidney disease: the global challenge." The Lancet 365.9456 (2005): 331-340.
[6] Tögel, Florian E., and Christof Westenfelder. "Kidney protection and regeneration following acute injury: progress through stem cell therapy." American Journal of Kidney Diseases 60.6 (2012): 1012-1022.

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