Diabetes is the most common cause of end-stage kidney failure in Canada. The main cause of reduced kidney function in diabetes is the slow loss of small blood vessels (capillaries) combined with scar tissue (fibrosis). Studies by our group have shown that cells from the bone marrow can be used to restore blood vessels and prevent excessive scar tissue formation in the kidney.
We will conduct a pilot test of using bone marrow derived cells to prevent the loss of kidney function. Individuals with diabetic kidney disease who have lost 50% or more of their kidney function but do not require dialysis will be eligible to participate. Subjects will be followed for 12 months to determine how quickly their kidney function is declining. Those patients whose disease is relatively stable will not be recruited further while those in whom kidney function is being lost more rapidly may continue in the study and be assigned to one of 3 groups: no cells, low dose cells and high-dose cells. Bone marrow derived cells will be infused back into the same patient, after which individuals will be followed one year to determine if they have altered kidney function.