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Renal stem cells and their implications for kidney cancer.

Author:
  • Håkan Axelson
  • Martin E Johansson
Publishing year: 2013
Language: English
Pages: 56-61
Publication/Series: Seminars in Cancer Biology
Volume: 23
Issue: 1
Document type: Journal article review
Publisher: Academic Press

Abstract english

The renal cell carcinomas (RCC) denote a diverse set of neoplasias with unique genetic and histological features. The RCCs emanate from the renal tubule, a highly heterogeneous epithelial structure, and depending on which cell is malignified the resulting cancer displays unique characteristics. Notwithstanding this, the cells of origin for the RCC forms are far from established, and only inferred by the accumulated weight of marker similarities, not always providing an unequivocal picture. The tubular epithelium is normally mitotically quiescent, but demonstrates a considerable regenerative capacity upon renal injury. Recently the hypothesis that regeneration is driven by adult stem cells has been added experimental support, providing further complexity to the issue of renal carcinogenesis. Whether these cells are linked to RCC is an open question. In the present review we therefore present the prevailing theories regarding kidney regeneration, since a better understanding of this process might be of relevance when considering the different malignancies that arise from kidney epithelium. Our own results show that papillary renal cell carcinoma displays considerable similarities to proximal tubular progenitor cells and we suggest that this tumor form may develop in a multi-step fashion via benign renal adenomas. The putative connection between renal stem cells and carcinomas is, however, not clarified, since the current understanding of the renal stem cell system is not complete. It is clear that the efforts to isolate and characterize renal progenitor/stem cells suffer from numerous technical limitations and that it remains likely that the kidney harbors different stem cell pools with a restricted differentiation potential.

Keywords

  • Cancer and Oncology

Other

Published
  • Kidney cancer research group
  • ISSN: 1096-3650
Håkan Axelson
E-mail: hakan [dot] axelson [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Professor

Division of Translational Cancer Research

+46 46 222 64 34

MV 404 A31A2

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