IMR Press / FBL / Volume 13 / Issue 16 / DOI: 10.2741/3161

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Article
The renal stem cell system in kidney repair and regeneration
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1 Kidney Histomorphology and Molecular Biology Laboratory, Italy
2 Nephrology Division, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Padua, Italy
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2008, 13(16), 6395–6405;
Published: 1 May 2008

The adult mammalian renal tubular epithelium exists in a relatively quiescent to slowly replicating state, but has great potential for regenerative morphogenesis following severe ischemic or toxic injury. Kidney regeneration and repair occur through three cellular and molecular mechanisms: differentiation of the somatic stem cells, recruitment of circulating stem cells and, more importantly, proliferation/dedifferentiation of mature cells. Dedifferentiation seems to represent a critical step for the recovery of tubular integrity. Dedifferentiation of tubular cells after injury is characterized by the reactivation of a mesenchymal program that is active during nephrogenesis. Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of renal tubular cells is an extreme manifestation of epithelial cell plasticity. It is now widely recognized as a fundamental process that marks some physiological, such as morphogenesis, as well as pathological events, such as oncogenesis and fibrogenesis. It might be also considered as a key event in the regenerative process of the kidney. Understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in EMT might be useful for designing therapeutic strategies in order to potentiate the innate capacity of the kidney to regenerate.

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