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The cellular source for tubular regeneration following kidney injury is a matter of dispute, with reports suggesting a stem or progenitor cells as the regeneration source while linage tracing studies in mice seemingly favor the classical theory, where regeneration is performed by randomly surviving cells. We, and others have previously described a scattered cell population localized to the tubules of human kidney, which increases in number following injury. Here we have characterized the species distribution of these proximal tubular progenitor cells (PTPCs) in kidney tissue from chimpanzee, pig, rat and mouse using a set of human PTPC markers. We detected PTPCs in chimpanzee and pig kidneys, but not in mouse tissue. Also, subjecting mice to the unilateral urethral obstruction model, caused clear signs of tubular injury, but failed to induce the PTPC phenotype in renal tubules.