Parallel generation of easily selectable multiple nephronal cell types from human pluripotent stem cells.


  • K. Hariharan
  • H. Stachelscheid
  • B. Rossbach
  • S.J. Oh
  • N. Mah
  • K. Schmidt-Ott
  • A. Kurtz
  • P. Reinke


  • Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences


  • Cell Mol Life Sci 76 (1): 179-192


  • Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) provide a source for the generation of defined kidney cells and renal organoids applicable in regenerative medicine, disease modeling, and drug screening. These applications require the provision of hPSC-derived renal cells by reproducible, scalable, and efficient methods. We established a chemically defined protocol by application of Activin A, BMP4, and Retinoic acid followed by GDNF, which steered hPSCs to the renal lineage and resulted in populations of SIX2(+)/CITED1(+) metanephric mesenchyme- (MM) and of HOXB7(+)/GRHL2(+) ureteric bud (UB)-like cells already by 6 days. Transcriptome analysis corroborated that the PSC-derived cell types at day 8 resemble their renal vesicle and ureteric epithelial counterpart in vivo, forming tubular and glomerular renal cells 6 days later. We demonstrate that starting from hPSCs, our in vitro protocol generates a pool of nephrogenic progenitors at the renal vesicle stage, which can be further directed into specialized nephronal cell types including mesangial-, proximal tubular-, distal tubular, collecting duct epithelial cells, and podocyte precursors after 14 days. This simple and rapid method to produce renal cells from a common precursor pool in 2D culture provides the basis for scaled-up production of tailored renal cell types, which are applicable for drug testing or cell-based regenerative therapies.