Thesis: Adult stem cells cannot cure renal vasculature disease without the assistance of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (IPSC).

Posted By Nutricula On Wednesday, August 1st, 2012 With 0 Comments

Thesis: Adult stem cells cannot cure renal vasculature disease without the assistance of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (IPSC).

by Jenn Smith-Williams and Susie K. Reat, Kidney Contenders

The hardest definition for the medically untrained to master into complete comprehension is the term stem cells. Stem cells are defined as the master cells of the human body that are capable of renewing themselves and creating other cells in their renewal process.

There are two known types of stem cells and they are referred to as embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells. Adult stem cells are found throughout the adult tissues inside of the human body and reproduce at a slower rate than embryonic stem cells. Adult stem cells are vastly different from embryonic stem cells, in that embryonic stem cells originate in the embryo, a diploid cell that is created with two haploid cells. Unlike adult stem cells, embryonic stem cells are pluripotent, which allows their cells to develop in multiple ways throughout the body.

The way in which embryonic stem cells have to be studied have caused uprising in certain religious communities that deem embryonic stem cells research to be sacrilegious. Medical researchers have now taken a different approach to stem cell research by creating Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (IPSCs).  In 2006, Dr. Shinya Yamanaka and his research team from Japan created IPSCs that mimics the embryonic behavior and not destroying embryos in the process, words that deem more favorable to those conflicted with thoughts of stem cell research and their religious beliefs about it. Most medical professionals focus less on working around religious conflict and focus more on resolving the medical issues at large, particularly with resolving diseases.

One interest at large stems from the Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) community and that interest is whether stem cells can cure CKD. While CKD research is prevalent, it is not as abundant as some may assume. The renal system is complicated and requires understanding about kidney function. CKD research requires a thorough understanding of progressive urine loss and knowledge about the other diseases that can occur to vital organs in the body as the result of kidney failure.

The way to break apart a complex organ such as the kidney is to break down the kidney and understand the function of the kidney. This research paper will explore renal vasculature and whether adult stem cells can cure renal vasculature diseases with the assistance of IPSC.

Renal vasculature disease may not come across as a common disease of a specific interest to many medical professionals, primarily because it does not receive the same amount of critique and study that renal carcinoma, for example, does. It is true that renal diseases are caused by different internal and external factors that put demands on the human body. Aging, for example, is an internal process that can result in intercurrent infections in the renal system, specifically with kidney function. Aging can also cause an imbalance in the immunologic processes that effect urinary output, again, all renal system related.  Aging is as it is defined, an internal process that causes the intra-cellular structure to disintegrate. If cells are disintegrating, then at what rate can they be reproduced? Adult stem cells can differentiate into other cells that are destroyed, but the process requires activation from a similar genetic coding that will allow for cellular reactivity. Another factor to consider with aging is the problem with the result of the disintegrated cells-what did the disintegrated cells result in for the human?

If the disintegrated cells caused any damage then the damage will result in an infection; an intercurrent infection.  Intercurrent infections can result from destroyed intracellular molecules. These destroyed molecules are no longer genetically coded to reproduce. The impact on the renal vasculature system, which includes the arteries and the veins, will be non-functioning renal arteries and veins. If the renal arteries and veins stop working then the blood will stop circulating in this area. If blood stops circulating in the renal vasculature system, then the vasculature system shuts down causing total dysfunction to the renal system leading to death.

Let us examine the blood flow rate in the renal vasculature system: The average healthy adult has 100-120 milliliters or 01-0.12 liters of blood that flows to the glomerulus. The glomerulus filters the blood and removes the waste products, thus creating urine.

It is wise to assume that age plays an important factor in the renal vasculature function, but it is not the sole determining outcome for the malfunctions. Additional factors that can affect renal vasculature functions are sodium conservation, oxygenation and cardiac output, and biotransformation of pharmaceuticals not excreted from the body.

While these factors are prevalent and can create a domino effect if they are not monitored by their owner and physicians, age is still a primary factor that can cause the dominoes to topple down faster. Knowing this information, let us review biology 101 and focus on the external factors that affect human physiological behavior: environment stimuli. Conditions in the environment requiring humans to physiologically adjust are called stimuli. Humans respond to these stimuli by either adapting or not adapting.

The question becomes whether nephrologists can observe the change in urinary output, whether hematologists can determine if changes in white blood count, hemoglobin and platelet count will cause hematuria, and if these observations will determine the outcome of the renal vasculature functions.

The lymphatic system transports lymph (fluid collected from tissues) to the blood stream and the function of this transportation is to defend the body against infections. Intercurrent infections can prevent the lymphatic system from performing this function and thus cause chaos in an otherwise controlled internal environment. Both the urinary and lymphatic systems are involved with processing and transporting substances throughout and out of the body.

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (IPSCs) are adult stem cells that are genetically reprogrammed to mimic the rate of cellular activity as embryonic stem cells. Clinical trial studies for patients with renal vasculature disorders need to be created. Renal vasculature disorders result in dysfunction of the urinary system, the lymphatic system and the cardiovascular system. These trials will be voluntary and supervised by licensed medical professionals. If individuals with this disease do not wish to participate further and wish to withdraw from the study, then the individual should be allowed to do so without any health or monetary penalty against them. Some ethicists may argue that clinical trial studies are for capital gain, but adding the “no penalty” to a consent form may ease some ethicists concerns.

Individuals will have to enroll in these clinical trial studies under the supervision of the licensed medical professional, with a ball park figure of the expected total study duration in order to ensure collection of the appropriate information about IPSCs effect on the renal vasculature disorder. Blood samples will need to be collected during these study visits in order to measure urine output, PTH, basic metabolic panel and other blood chemistries. In addition, vital signs, physical exams, EKGs will be taken.

It will be imperative to explain the purpose of the clinical trials that the clinical trials are conducted in safe environments and are solely to study the progress of the IPSC implantation and effect on the renal vasculature section.


Stem Cell Information, The National Institute of Health Resource for Stem Cell Research
Kidney and Hypertension in Diabetes Mellitus-Sixth Edition, Carl Erik Mogensen (Editor)
Core Curriculum for Nephrology Nursing-Fifth Edition, Caroline S. Counts (Editor)


For additional information on Stem Cell Research and IPSC, please see; The “Catch-22” of Science PolicyPart 1  by Dr. Bob Berger, MS, MVSc, PhD, in Nutricula Magazine, January 2012, pgs 68-75, (see “Archives”, 

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