Author Affiliations: Division of Pediatric Nephrology, The Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, 139 Middle Renmin Road, Changsha, Hunan 410011, China (Liu L, Chen D, Yi ZW, Liu XH, Wu XC, Dang XQ, He QN, He XJ, Mo SH)
Corresponding Author: Zhu-Wen Yi, Division of Pediatric Nephrology, The Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, 139 Middle Renmin Road, Changsha, Hunan 410011, China (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Background: The subcapsular transplantation of metanephric mesenchymal cells (MMCs) may be a new therapeutic approach for the treatment of acute tubular necrosis (ATN). To investigate this hypothesis and provide evidence for its possible use in the clinic, we evaluated the nephroprotective effects of transplanting MMCs into the renal subcaspsule of rats with ATN induced by gentamicin.
Methods: MMCs were expanded in culture. After gentamicin-induced ATN was established, fluorescently-labeled cells were transplanted and traced in kidney tissues by fluorescence microscopy. Serum creatinine (Cr), urea nitrogen (BUN), and N-acetyl-b-D-glucosaminidase (NAG) levels were determined at different time points. Kidney pathology was studied by hematoxylin-eosin staining. Apoptosis was examined by the TUNEL assay.
Results: In the MMCs-treated group, the mortality rate decreased; BUN, Cr, and NAG levels peaked at 8 days, and were significantly lower than those in the other groups at 11 and 14 days. RIMM-18 cells locally recruited through precise tropism to sites of injury had the ability to migrate into the tubuli from the renal subcapsule. Damage to the cell-treated kidneys was reduced. The pathologic lesion scores of tubular damage reached the highest values at 8 days in the treated kidneys and 11 days in the untreated ones. The apoptotic index showed that the peaks of apoptosis occurred at earlier stages of the injury process in cell-treated than in untreated kidney and thereafter declined in a time-dependent manner.
Conclusion: The subcapsular transplantation of MMCs could ameliorate renal function and repair kidney injury.
Key words: acute tubular necrosis; metanephric mesenchymal cells; subcapsular transplantation
World J Pediatr 2012;8(2):156-163