A Perspective on a Urine-Derived Kidney Tubuloid Biobank from Patients with Hereditary Tubulopathies

Frans Schutgens, Maarten Rookmaaker, and Marianne Verhaar

Published: March 2021


Inherited kidney tubulopathies comprise a group of rare diseases with a significant societal impact, as lifelong treatment is often required and no therapies are available to prevent progression of renal damage. Diagnosis of inherited tubulopathies has improved with the advances of next generation sequencing. However, difficulties remain, such as a lack of genotype-phenotype correlation and unknown pathogenicity of newly identified variants. In addition, treatment remains mainly symptomatic. Both diagnosis and treatment can be improved by addition of in vitro functional studies to clinical care. Urine-derived kidney organoids (“tubuloids”) are a promising platform for these studies. International collections of patient-derived tubuloids in a living biobank offer additional advantages for drug development and pathophysiological studies. In this review, we discuss how diagnosis and treatment of tubulopathies can be improved by in vitro studies using a tubuloid biobank. We also address practical challenges in the development of such biobank.

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