ITALY – Kidney stem cells isolated, new hopes for regeneration

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Kidney stem cells, according to some experts, could be able to repair kidney damage if used properly. The first researchers to identify the cells were scientists at the University of Florence, who published an article recently in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. Giuseppe Remuzzi, the head of the Nephrology and Dialysis division of the United Hospitals of Bergamo recently spoke about their potential in Milan at the World Nephrology Congress.

“The truth about stem cells,” explained the expert, “ is what US President Barack Obama pointed out when he announced the repeal of laws banning the federal financing of embryonic stem cell studies. They are promising, but there is still a lot of work to do. Currently, these cells treat very few diseases. We must study them and compare the various types.”

Many scientists, continued Remuzzi, believe in them, although the results are few and mostly have been obtained in vitro. “Everyone’s dream is to repair organs with stem cells.” There are good possibilities for kidneys, he added. “Since stem cells could be responsible for a regeneration process observed in animals treated with Ace-inhibitor drugs, which delay the progression of kidney diseases. The idea is that these cells have an innate ability to repair damages, which, through the use of drugs, can be directed and sustained, with good results.”

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