Review > Curr Opin Nephrol Hypertens. 2010 Jan;19(1):7-12.
doi: 10.1097 /MNH.0b013e328332fb6f.
Paracrine/endocrine mechanism of stem cells on
kidney repair: role of microvesicle-mediated transfer
of genetic information
Giovanni Camussi 1 , Maria Chiara Deregibus, Ciro Tetta
Affiliations + expand
PMID: 19823086 DOI: 10.1097 /MNH.0b013e328332fb6f
Purpose of review: The mechanism of stem cell-induced kidney repair remains controversial.
Engraftment of bcne marrow-derived stem cells is considered a rare event and several studies point
to paracrine/endocrine processes. This review focuses on microvesicle-mediated transfer of genetic
information between stem cells and injured tissue as a paracrine/endocrine mechanism.
Recent findings: The following findings support a bidirectional exchange of genetic information
between stem and injured cells: microvesicles shuttle defined patterns of mRNA and microRNA, are
actively released from embryonic and adult stem cells and are internalized by a receptor-mediated
mechanism in target cells; transcripts delivered by microvesicles from injured cells may reprogram the
phenotype of stem cells to acquire specific features of the tissue; transcripts delivered by
microvesicles from stem cells may induce dedifferentiation of cells surviving injury with cell cycle
reentry and tissue self-repair.
Summary: Transfer of genetic information from injured cells may explain stem cell functional and
phenotypic changes without the need for transdifferentiation into tissue cells. On the contrary,
transfer of genetic information from stem cells may redirect altered functions in target cells
suggesting that stem cells may repair damaged tissues without directly replacing parenchymal cells.