Mesenchymal Stem Cells: a Promising Therapeutic Tool for Acute Kidney Injury

  • Rehab E. SelimEmail author
  • Hanaa H. Ahmed
  • Somia H. Abd-Allah
  • Gilane M. Sabry
  • Rasha E. Hassan
  • Wagdy K. B. Khalil
  • Nehal S. Abouhashem


Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a rapid loss of renal function. It has high mortality rates. Still, renal replacement therapy is considered the best solution for recovering AKI. This opens a line of thought to develop an alternative therapy for it without complications. Mesenchymal stem cells are considered a new therapy for treating kidney diseases. The aim of this work was to address the anti-apoptotic, antioxidative, and pro-angiogenic effects of adipose tissue-derived MSCs (AD-MSCs) and bone marrow-MSCs (BM-MSCs) for treating AKI. Adult male Wistar rats were assigned into nine groups (n = 10): (1) the control group; (2) the AKI group, receiving cisplatin; (3) the AKI group treated with AD-MSCs (1 × 106); (4) the AKI group treated with AD-MSCs (2 × 106); (5) the AKI group treated with AD-MSCs (4 × 106); (6) the AKI group treated with losartan; (7) the AKI group treated with BM-MSCs (1 × 106); (8) the AKI group treated with BM-MSCs (2 × 106); and (9) the AKI group treated with BM-MSCs (4 × 106). The results showed a significant rise in creatinine, urea, and cystatin C (cys C) levels and upregulation of p38 mRNA, whereas a significant decline in NAD(P)H quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO-1) protein and downregulation of B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) mRNA and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) mRNA were recorded in AKI. MSCs could improve renal functions manifested by decreased urea, creatinine, and cys C levels; downregulation of p38; and upregulation of Bcl-2 and VEGF. Moreover, MSC therapy could induce NQO-1 in the treated rats relative to the untreated rats. So, cell-based therapy can reduce AKI through the antioxidative, anti-apoptotic, and pro-angiogenic properties of MSCs. Therefore, the findings received in this attempt create a fertile base for the setup of cell therapy in patients with AKI.


Acute kidney injury Cisplatin Mesenchymal stem cells Oxidative stress Apoptosis Angiogenesis 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

All experiments were performed in accordance with the National Institutes of Health guidelines and with approval from the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, National Research Centre, Egypt.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hormones DepartmentNational Research CentreGizaEgypt
  2. 2.Stem Cell Lab., Centre of Excellence for Advanced ScienceNational Research CentreGizaEgypt
  3. 3.Medical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department, Faculty of MedicineZagazig UniversityZagazigEgypt
  4. 4.Biochemistry Department, Faculty of ScienceAin Shams UniversityCairoEgypt
  5. 5.Cell Biology DepartmentNational Research CentreGizaEgypt
  6. 6.Pathology Department, Faculty of MedicineZagazig UniversityZagazigEgypt

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