The utility of stem cells in pediatric urinary bladder regeneration

Philip M. Iannaccone, Vasil Galat, Matthew I. Bury, Yongchao C. Ma, Arun K. Sharma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Pediatric patients with a neurogenic urinary bladder, caused by developmental abnormalities including spina bifida, exhibit chronic urological problems. Surgical management in the form of enterocystoplasty is used to enlarge the bladder, but is associated with significant clinical complications. Thus, alternative methods to enterocystoplasty have been explored through the incorporation of stem cells with tissue engineering strategies. Within the context of this review, we will examine the use of bone marrow stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), as they relate to bladder regeneration at the anatomic and molecular levels. The use of bone marrow stem cells has demonstrated significant advances in bladder tissue regeneration as multiple aspects of bladder tissue have been recapitulated including the urothelium, bladder smooth muscle, vasculature, and peripheral nerves. iPSCs, on the other hand, have been well characterized and used in multiple tissue-regenerative settings, yet iPSC research is still in its infancy with regards to bladder tissue regeneration with recent studies describing the differentiation of iPSCs to the bladder urothelium. Finally, we examine the role of the Sonic Hedgehog signaling cascade that mediates the proliferative response during regeneration between bladder smooth muscle and urothelium. Taken together, this review provides a current, comprehensive perspective on bladder regeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)258-266
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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