Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is characterized by a progressive loss of kidney function over a period of months or years. CKD is often asymptomatic, but progressed disease can lead to leg swelling, confusion, heart disease, anemia, and other serious complications.


The causes of CKD include diabetes, high blood pressure, glomerulonephritis, and polycystic kidney disease.

Conventional treatment for CKD includes medications to lower blood pressure and treat diabetes, dietary changes, hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, and kidney transplant.

Stem cell research for CKD is focusing on trying to improve kidney function by repairing/regenerating the filtering portions of the kidney. Alternatively, treating the root cause of CKD (diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, etc) is also an area of focus.

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The most current research regarding stem cells and CKD is given below:

Improvement of renal function after human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell treatment on chronic renal failure and thoracic spinal cord entrapment: a case report
Ahmad Jabir Rahyussalim, Ifran Saleh, Tri Kurniawati, and Andi Praja Wira Yudha Lutfi

Abstract: Chronic renal failure is an important clinical problem with significant socioeconomic impact worldwide. Thoracic spinal cord entrapment induced by a metabolic yield deposit in patients with renal failure results in intrusion of nervous tissue and consequently loss of motor and sensory function. Human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells are immune naïve and they are able to differentiate into other phenotypes, including the neural lineage. Over the past decade, advances in the field of regenerative medicine allowed development of cell therapies suitable for kidney repair. Mesenchymal stem cell studies in animal models of chronic renal failure have uncovered a unique potential of these cells for improving function and regenerating the damaged kidney.


Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Based Therapy for Kidney Disease: A Review of Clinical Evidence
Anna Julie Peired, Alessandro Sisti, and Paola Romagnani

Abstract: Mesenchymal stem cells form a population of self-renewing, multipotent cells that can be isolated from several tissues. Multiple preclinical studies have demonstrated that the administration of exogenous MSC could prevent renal injury and could promote renal recovery through a series of complex mechanisms, in particular via immunomodulation of the immune system and release of paracrine factors and microvesicles. Due to their therapeutic potentials, MSC are being evaluated as a possible player in treatment of human kidney disease, and an increasing number of clinical trials to assess the safety, feasibility, and efficacy of MSC-based therapy in various kidney diseases have been proposed. In the present review, we will summarize the current knowledge on MSC infusion to treat acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease, diabetic nephropathy, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and kidney transplantation. The data obtained from these clinical trials will provide further insight into safety, feasibility, and efficacy of MSC-based therapy in renal pathologies and allow the design of consensus protocol for clinical purpose.