Methods A subpopulation of renal progenitor cells expressing CD24 and OB-cadherin were isolated from AF. Using a detergent-enzymatic method we produced mouse decellularized whole kidney extracellular matrix (ECM). Mouse kidney ECM was seeded with renal progenitor cells, implanted into the kidney of nude mice, and harvested at one month to look for structure and phenotypic expression.
Results One month after surgery, implanted ECM in situ showed invasion of vessels (angiogenesis) and renal tubular-like structures. In addition to seeded scaffolds configuring into 3D renal structures, cells positive for markers associated with several essential renal cell types, such as mesangial, podocytes and tubular cells were detected.
Conclusion These results suggest that renal progenitor cells from AF seeded into renal ECM could represent a unique investigational approach for kidney regeneration that may be used to augment or replace damaged or compromised kidney tissue from either congenital or chronic disease.