Multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells from the bone marrow ameliorate acute kidney injury through a mechanism other than transdifferentiation into renal tissue. Stromal cells exert immunoregulatory effects on dendritic and T cells, both of which are important in the pathophysiology of immune-mediated kidney injury. We hypothesized that similar cells with immunoregulatory function exist within the adult kidney. We isolated murine kidney-derived cells with morphologic features, growth properties, and an immu- nophenotype characteristic of mesenchymal stromal cells. These cells lacked lineage markers and could be differentiated into mesodermal cell lineages, including osteocytes and adipocytes. Furthermore, these kidney-derived cells induced the generation of bone marrow-derived dendritic cells with significantly reduced MHC II expression, increased CD80 expression, increased IL-10 production and the inability to stimulate CD4+ T cell proliferation in allogeneic and nominal antigen-specific cultures. Experiments in mixed and transwell cultures demonstrated that the production of soluble immune modulators, such as IL-6, was responsible for these effects on dendritic cell differentiation and maturation. Contact-dependent mechanisms, however, inhibited mitogenic T cell proliferation. In summary, kidney-derived cells may suppress inflammation in the kidney in vivo; a better understanding of their biology could have therapeutic implications in a wide variety of immune-mediated kidney diseases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas