Renovascular Disease Induces Senescence in Renal Scattered Tubular-Like Cells and Impairs Their Reparative Potency

Xiao Jun Chen, Seo Rin Kim, Kai Jiang, Christopher M. Ferguson, Hui Tang, Xiang Yang Zhu, Amir Lerman, Alfonso Eirin, Lilach O. Lerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Scattered tubular-like cells (STCs), dedifferentiated renal tubular epithelial cells, contribute to renal self-healing, but severe injury might blunt their effectiveness. We hypothesized that ischemic renovascular disease (RVD) induces senescence in STC and impairs their reparative potency. CD24+/CD133+ STCs were isolated from swine kidneys after 16 weeks of RVD or healthy controls. To test their reparative capabilities in injured kidneys, control or RVD-STC (5×105) were prelabeled and injected into the aorta of 2 kidneys, 1-clip (2k,1c) mice 2 weeks after surgery. Murine renal function and oxygenation were studied in vivo 2 weeks after injection using micro-magnetic resonance imaging, and fibrosis, tubulointerstitial injury, capillary density, and expression of profibrotic and inflammatory genes ex vivo. STC isolated from swine RVD kidneys showed increased gene expression of senescence and senescence-associated secretory phenotype markers and positive SA-β-gal staining. Delivery of normal pig STCs in 2k,1c mice improved murine renal perfusion, blood flow, and glomerular filtration rate, and downregulated profibrotic and inflammatory gene expression. These renoprotective effects were blunted using STC harvested from RVD kidneys, which also failed to attenuate hypoxia, fibrosis, tubular injury, and capillary loss in injured mouse 2k,1c kidneys. Hence, RVD may induce senescence in endogenous STC and impair their reparative capacity. These observations implicate cellular senescence in the pathophysiology of ischemic kidney disease and support senolytic therapy to permit self-healing of senescent kidneys.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-518
Number of pages12
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2021


  • epithelial cell
  • fibrosis
  • hypoxia
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • renal insufficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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