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The role of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells and vitamin C in the treatment of HgCl2-induced renal tubular damage in albino rats: a histological and biochemical study

Hassan, Alyaa R.; Mansy, Aisha E.; Sabry, Dina A.

The Egyptian Journal of Histology: June 2016 - Volume 39 - Issue 2 - p 136–149
doi: 10.1097/01.EHX.0000489144.70725.c9
Original Articles

Background 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.

Aim 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.

Results 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.

Conclusion 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.

aDepartment of Supplementary General Science, Future University

bDepartment of Histology and Cell Biology, Faculty of Medicine, Benha University

cDepartment of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt

Correspondence to Aisha E. Mansy MD, Department of Histology and Cell Biology, Faculty of Medicine, Banha University, Banha, 12411, Egypt Tel: +20 106 638 9899; fax: 0224189148 e-mail:

Received February 10, 2016

Accepted February 22, 2016

© 2016 The Egyptian Journal of Histology
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