Scientists have shown that human adult stem cells can promote kidney repair. There are currently no therapies to repair kidney damage. Patients with severe kidney damage go on dialysis while waiting for an organ transplant. The results of this recent study showed that human adult bone marrow stem cells, injected into mice with induced kidney damage, could promote kidney repair and regeneration.

A published study in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrologyalso indicated that adult stem cells could promote kidney repair in a model of Alport syndrome. Alport syndrome causes progressive kidney disease leading to kidney failure at a young age. Researchers injected bone marrow adult stem cells into mice with Alport syndrome and found that the cell injection significantly improved kidney function, as well as survival.

In a start to putting the knowledge about adult stem cells to use in the clinic, a Phase I clinical trial is under way using adult stem cells to treat kidney damage that is sometimes seen following extensive open-heart surgery.