Adult stem cell-derived organoids are three-dimensional epithelial structures that recapitulate fundamental aspects of their organ of origin. We describe conditions for the long-term growth of primary kidney tubular epithelial organoids, or ‘tubuloids’. The cultures are established from human and mouse kidney tissue and can be expanded for at least 20 passages (>6 months) while retaining a normal number of chromosomes. In addition, cultures can be established from human urine. Human tubuloids represent proximal as well as distal nephron segments, as evidenced by gene expression, immunofluorescence and tubular functional analyses. We apply tubuloids to model infectious, malignant and hereditary kidney diseases in a personalized fashion. BK virus infection of tubuloids recapitulates in vivo phenomena. Tubuloids are established from Wilms tumors. Kidney tubuloids derived from the urine of a subject with cystic fibrosis allow ex vivo assessment of treatment efficacy. Finally, tubuloids cultured on microfluidic organ-on-a-chip plates adopt a tubular conformation and display active (trans-)epithelial transport function.
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