Urine-derived stem cells as innovative platform for drug testing and disease modelling

Kidneys are crucial for filtration of drugs and toxins and their proper function is essential for overall health. Unfortunately, due to disease and improper function, kidney transplantation or dialysis are necessary for millions of patients annually all over the world.1,2

CLINICIANS face several hurdles, such as limited organ donors and high financial demands, during the course of administering the necessary treatment options.3 The kidney metabolises drugs via cytochrome P450 and other protein systems.4 The increasing prevalence of acute kidney injury (AKI) is associated with medical and economic burdens.5 AKI, of which 19-26% are induced by drugs, can result in chronic kidney disease (CKD),6,7 which increases the probability of developing renal cell carcinoma.8 Nephrotoxicity caused by drugs is an important causative factor in the development of AKI and CKD.9 It causes failure of about 7% of newly developed drugs, thus emphasising that pre-clinical models have to be improved.10

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