Kidney cells reprogrammed to make stem cells

AUSTRALIAN researchers have for the first time shown it is possible to reprogram adult kidney cells to make induced pluripotent stem cells, paving the way for future personalised kidney disease treatment.

In an advance that circumvents ethical concerns around the use of human embryos for stem cell research, Associate Professor Sharon Ricardo and a team from Monash has “wound back the clock” on kidney cells to make their early precursors.

In a proof-of-concept study, the scientists showed it was possible to reprogram cells in order to study genetic diseases and allow the screening of new compounds targeting the conditions.

“The cells could … be used for disease modelling and eventually autologous cell replacement therapies,” they wrote.

Working with Monash Medical Centre’s director of nephrology, Professor Peter Kerr, the team has generated four stem cell lines from