The role of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells and vitamin C in the treatment of HgCl: a histological and biochemical study2: a histological and biochemical study-induced renal tubular damage in albino rats: a histological and biochemical study

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Acute renal failure is associated with 50–80% mortality. Currently, treatment options for this life-threatening disease are limited. However, stem cells offer an exciting potential for kidney regeneration.


In the present study we evaluated whether bone marrow stem cells and vitamin C, either in combination or alone, are effective in the regeneration of kidney tubules following acute tubular necrosis in rats.

Materials and methods

Eighty adult male albino rats divided into five groups (15 rats each) were used in this study. Group I was the control group; group II was treated with mercuric chloride (HgCl2); group III was treated with bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells; group IV was treated with vitamin C; and group V was treated with bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells and vitamin C. One set of animals were sacrificed on day 5 after injection of HgCl2, another set at 8 weeks after treatment, and one set at 12 weeks after treatment. Kidney tissue samples were processed for histological, histochemical, and immunohistochemical study and for biochemical assay. The obtained results were analyzed morphometrically and statistically.


Group II showed several tubular changes in the form multiple vacuoles and darkly stained nuclei. Some tubules revealed karyolitic nuclei, denudation of the basement membrane, and acidophilic casts engorged in their lumens. The glomerular capillaries were congested and enlarged with decrease in filtration space and well-observed atrophic changes. Bone marrow stem cells and vitamin C were found to play a role in the regeneration of tubules of the renal cortex. H&E, Periodic acid–Schiff, and survivin expression revealed a significant improvement in the functional and structural recovery of the kidney from acute kidney injury (AKI) in groups III and V compared with group II.


The present results demonstrate that bone marrow stem cells contribute to the regeneration of the renal tubular epithelium in HgCl2-induced AKI. This study also suggests the antioxidant and antiapoptotic functions of bone marrow stem cells and vitamin C together in treating AKI.

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