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Stem Cells International
Volume 2016, Article ID 9521629, 16 pages
Review Article

Mesenchymal Stem Cells as Therapeutic Candidates for Halting the Progression of Diabetic Nephropathy

1Sociedade Beneficente Albert Einstein, Albert Einstein Hospital, 05652 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
2University of São Paulo, 01246 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
3Federal University of São Paulo, 04023 São Paulo, SP, Brazil

Received 22 July 2016; Accepted 8 November 2016

Academic Editor: Dominik Wolf

Copyright © 2016 Janaina Paulini et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) possess pleiotropic properties that include immunomodulation, inhibition of apoptosis, fibrosis and oxidative stress, secretion of trophic factors, and enhancement of angiogenesis. These properties provide a broad spectrum for their potential in a wide range of injuries and diseases, including diabetic nephropathy (DN). MSCs are characterized by adherence to plastic, expression of the surface molecules CD73, CD90, and CD105 in the absence of CD34, CD45, HLA-DR, and CD14 or CD11b and CD79a or CD19 surface molecules, and multidifferentiation capacity in vitro. MSCs can be derived from many tissue sources, consistent with their broad, possibly ubiquitous distribution. This article reviews the existing literature and knowledge of MSC therapy in DN, as well as the most appropriate rodent models to verify the therapeutic potential of MSCs in DN setting. Some preclinical relevant studies are highlighted and new perspectives of combined therapies for decreasing DN progression are discussed. Hence, improved comprehension and interpretation of experimental data will accelerate the progress towards clinical trials that should assess the feasibility and safety of this therapeutic approach in humans. Therefore, MSC-based therapies may bring substantial benefit for patients suffering from DN.