Background/Aims: Renal tubular cells are the main target of ischemic insult associated with acute renal injury. Low oxygen and nutrient supplies result in ATP depletion, leading to cell death and loss of renal function. A possible mechanism by which bone marrow-derived cells support renal tissue regeneration relies on the capacity of mononuclear cells (BMMC), particularly mesenchymal stem cells (MSC), to secrete paracrine factors that mediate support for kidney regeneration. Methods: BMMC/MSC and renal cells (LLC-PK1 from pig and IRPTC from rat) were co-cultured under stressful conditions (ATP depletion and/or serum free starvation), physically separated by a microporous membrane (0.4 µm), was used to determine whether bone marrow-derived cells can interact with renal cells in a paracrine manner. Results: This interaction resulted in stimulation of renal cell proliferation and the arrest of cell death. MSC elicit effective responses in renal cells in terms of stimulating proliferation and protection. Such effects are observed in renal cells co-cultured with rat BMMC/MSC, an indication that paracrine mechanisms are not entirely species-specific. Conclusion: The paracrine action of BMMC/MSC was influenced by a renal cell stimulus released during stress, indicating that cross-talk with injured cells is required for renal regeneration supported by bone marrow-derived cells.

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