Increasing proliferation of intrinsic tubular cells after renal ischemia-reperfusion injury in adult rat

Jian Feng, Weiming Hu, Chunyue Feng, Xiao Ou Mao, Kunlin Jin, Youxin Ye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The kidney is capable of regeneration following injury. However, whether renal stem/progenitor cells contribute to the repair process after injury, as well as the origin of the cells that repair and replace damaged renal tubule cells remains debated. Therefore, better understanding of the repair process will be critical to developing new strategies for the treatment of acute renal failure. Using an ischemia-reperfusion injury mode and an immunocytochemistry method, we counted the number of BrdU-positive cells in damged regions at different durations of reperfusion. We found that BrdU, a cell proliferative marker, was mainly incorporated in the tubular cells of both medulla and cortex 1 day after reperfusion. The number of BrdU-positive cells reached a peak at 3 days and lasted for two months after injury. BrdU-positive cells were barely found in the renal glomerulus and the parietal layer of Bowman's capsule after injury, and only a few were found in the intersititium. PAX2, an embryonic renal marker, was also increased in renal tubule cells. Confocal images show that BrdU-positive cells co-expressed PAX2, but not the activated form of caspase-3, a cell death marker. Our data suggest that renal stem-like cells or dedifferentiation of surviving renal tubular cells in both the medulla and cortex may predominantly contribute to the repair process after renal ischemia-reperfusion injury in rat.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-235
Number of pages8
JournalAging and Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2015


  • Adult
  • Ischemia-reperfusion injury
  • Pax-2
  • Proliferative cells
  • Renal stem cells
  • kidney


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