Stem cell-based therapies are promising for the treatment of various kidney diseases. MSCs have conferred protective and regenerative effects on renal cells. However, the major hurdle encountered is the delivery of a sufficient number of MSCs to the kidney to achieve therapeutic benefits. Several injection routes have been utilised to deliver cells to the kidney parenchyma. Only a small proportion of MSCs journey to the kidney when the systemic route is employed. Direct delivery routes, like renal artery injection, are promising but require surgery. Other cell delivery methods include kidney capsule injection, intraperitoneal delivery and intraparenchymal administration. Recently, a minimally invasive renal artery injection was also implemented to promote the delivery of a significant number of transplanted cells to the kidney. Several clinical trials have been performed using MSCs from different sources for the treatment of kidney diseases. The limited results available from clinical studies show that MSCs administration for the management of kidney diseases is safe and feasible.
Keywords: Acute kidney injury, Cell delivery, Cell therapy, Chronic kidney disease, Clinical trials, Decellularised kidney, Diabetic nephropathy, Extracellular vesicles, Induced pluripotent stem cells, Intraparenchymal administration, Intraperitoneal injection, Intravenous delivery, Ischemia/reperfusion injury, Kidney, Kidney capsule, Kidney transplantation, Mesenchymal stromal/stem cells, Preclinical studies, Renal function, Repair and regeneration.