Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Bone marrow-derived cells can acquire renal stem cells properties and ameliorate ischemia-reperfusion induced acute renal injury

Xiaohua Jia12, Xiaoqiang Xie3, Guowei Feng3, He Lű4, Qinjun Zhao5, Yongzhe Che2, Yizhou Zheng5, Zhongchao Han5, Yong Xu3*, Zongjin Li12* and Deling Kong1

Author Affiliations

1 State Key Laboratory of Medicinal Chemical Biology, Key Laboratory of Bioactive Materials, Ministry of Education, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China

2 School of Medicine, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China

3 Department of Urology, Second Hospital of Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin Institute of Urology, Tianjin 300211, China

4 College of Basic Medicine, Yanbian University, Yanji, Jilin 133002, China

5 State Key Lab of Experimental Hematology, Institute of Hematology & Hospital of Blood Diseases, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Tianjin 300020, China

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BMC Nephrology 2012, 13:105  doi:10.1186/1471-2369-13-105

Published: 10 September 2012



Bone marrow (BM) stem cells have been reported to contribute to tissue repair after kidney injury model. However, there is no direct evidence so far that BM cells can trans-differentiate into renal stem cells.


To investigate whether BM stem cells contribute to repopulate the renal stem cell pool, we transplanted BM cells from transgenic mice, expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) into wild-type irradiated recipients. Following hematological reconstitution and ischemia-reperfusion (I/R), Sca-1 and c-Kit positive renal stem cells in kidney were evaluated by immunostaining and flow cytometry analysis. Moreover, granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) was administrated to further explore if G-CSF can mobilize BM cells and enhance trans-differentiation efficiency of BM cells into renal stem cells.


BM-derived cells can contribute to the Sca-1+ or c-Kit+ renal progenitor cells population, although most renal stem cells came from indigenous cells. Furthermore, G-CSF administration nearly doubled the frequency of Sca-1+ BM-derived renal stem cells and increased capillary density of I/R injured kidneys.


These findings indicate that BM derived stem cells can give rise to cells that share properties of renal resident stem cell. Moreover, G-CSF mobilization can enhance this effect.

Bone marrow transplantation; Trans-differentiation; Renal stem cell; Acute kidney injury; G-CSF; Mobilization