In vitro generation of three-dimensional renal structures

Akira Joraku, Kathryn A. Stern, Anthony Atala, James J. Yoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


End-stage renal disease is currently being treated effectively by transplantation. However, increasing demand and donor shortage make this treatment challenging. Recent advances in cell-based therapies have provided potential opportunities to alleviate the current challenges of donor shortage. In this study we developed a system to generate renal structures in vitro using primary kidney cells. This system involves the cultivation of expanded primary renal cells in a three-dimensional collagen-based culture system. After one week of growth, individual renal cells began to form renal structures resembling tubules and glomeruli. Histologically, these structures show phenotypic resemblance to native kidney structures. The reconstituted tubules stained positively for Tamm-Horsfall protein, which is expressed in the thick ascending limb of Henle's Loop and distal convoluted tubules. These results show that renal structures can be reconstituted in a three-dimensional culture system, which may eventually be used for renal cell therapy applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-133
Number of pages5
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2009


  • Cell-based therapy
  • Collagen
  • End-stage renal disease
  • Glomeruli
  • Renal structures
  • Renal tubules

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'In vitro generation of three-dimensional renal structures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this