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Kidney stem cells can be collected from urine to reduce transplants

Date: 5.2.2020 

Transplants are often the last course of action available for people with kidney trouble, but donors can be hard to come by and the procedure is pretty invasive.

Kredit: BruceBlaus / Wikimedia Commons.Treating kidney disease with stem cells is an option, but obtaining those requires a biopsy. Now, researchers have isolated and studied kidney stem cells from urine samples, which could be a much easier way to collect them.

Stem cells are those that have the ability to turn into new cells of whatever type is needed. They’re most notably present during embryonic development, but persist in smaller numbers in many tissues throughout adulthood as well, helping in healing.

Because of their amazing restorative abilities, stem cells could hold promise as a way to repair damage or fight disease. The best sources of adult stem cells are those in bone marrow, umbilical cord blood and amniotic fluid, but they all have their own issues. Bone marrow is painful and invasive to reach, and the others can only be harvested immediately after a patient gives birth.

On the new study, researchers from Heinrich Heine University examined a non-invasive way to collect renal stem cells, those that can differentiate into all the cell types in kidneys. Normally, they need to be taken through a biopsy, but previous studies have shown that large numbers of them are actually passed out of the body in urine.





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