Researchers have discovered urine derived stem cells that could have potential for numerous therapies. This study was conducted at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine and was published in the journal of Stem Cell.
“These cells can be obtained through a simple, non-invasive low-cost approach that avoids surgical procedures,” said Yuanyuan Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of regenerative medicine and senior researcher on the project.
These urine derived stem cells possess the ability to become different types of cells such as;
- Skeletal muscles
- Balder cell types (smooth muscles and urothelial cell)
- Endothelial cells.
“These stem cells represent virtually a limitless supply of autologous cells for treating not only urology-related conditions such as kidney disease, urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction, but could be used in other fields as well,” said Zhang. “They could also potentially be used to engineer replacement bladders, urine tubes and other urologic organs.”
This study was conducted after obtaining urine samples of 17 healthy persons having age between 5 to 75 years. The isolations of stem cells from urine is very easy and require least processing as suggested by the authors.
“Identifying the origins of the cells will lead to a better understanding of the biology of this multipotent population of mesenchymal cells within the urinary tract system,” said Zhang.