Kidney organoids: accurate models or fortunate accidents

Melissa H. Little, Alexander N. Combes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


There are now many reports of human kidney organoids generated via the directed differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) based on an existing understanding of mammalian kidney organogenesis. Such kidney organoids potentially represent tractable tools for the study of normal human development and disease with improvements in scale, structure, and functional maturation potentially providing future options for renal regeneration. The utility of such organotypic models, however, will ultimately be determined by their developmental accuracy. While initially inferred from mouse models, recent transcriptional analyses of human fetal kidney have provided greater insight into nephrogenesis. In this review, we discuss how well human kidney organoids model the human fetal kidney and how the remaining differences challenge their utility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1319-1345
Number of pages27
JournalGenes & Development
Issue number19-20
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • collecting duct
  • kidney development
  • kidney organoid
  • metanephros
  • nephron progenitor
  • pluripotent stem cell
  • podocyte
  • single-cell transcriptional profiling

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