Vitrification of kidney precursors as a new source for organ transplantation.

PMID 25917113


Kidney transplantation from deceased or living human donors has been limited by donor availability as opposed to the increasing demand, and by the risk of allograft loss rejection and immunosuppressive therapy toxicity. In recent years, xenotransplantation of developed kidney precursor cells has offered a novel solution for the unlimited supply of human donor organs. Specifically, transplantation of kidney precursors in adult hosts showed that intact embryonic kidneys underwent maturation, exhibiting functional properties, and averted humoural rejection post-transplantation from non-immunosuppressed hosts. Even if supply and demand could be balanced using xenotransplants or lab-grown organs from regenerative medicine, the future of these treatments would still be compromised by the ability to physically distribute the organs to patients in need and to produce these products in a way that allows adequate inventory control and quality assurance. Kidney precursors originating from fifteen-day old rabbit embryos were vitrified using Cryotop® as a device and VM3 as vitrification solution. After 3 months of storage in liquid nitrogen, 18 kidney precursors were transplanted into non-immunosuppressed adult hosts by laparoscopy surgery. Twenty-one days after allotransplantation, 9 new kidneys were recovered. All the new kidneys recovered exhibited significant growth and mature glomeruli. Having achieved these encouraging results, we report, for the first time, that it is possible to create a long-term biobank of kidney precursors as an unlimited source of organs for transplantation, facilitating the inventory control and distribution of organs.