Adult stem cell treatment of complex disorders is a promising therapeutic approach and multipotent marrow stromal cells (MSCs) have been shown to be effective in various animal models of diseases. Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common and serious problem in hospitalized patients and bone marrow derived multipotent MSCs have been shown to be effective in different models of AKI. The mechanism of action of MSCs is complex but involves paracrine actions including growth factor secretion. Knockdown of vascular enthothelial growth factor (VEGF) by siRNA reduced effectiveness of MSCs in the treatment of ischemic AKI in a rat model. Animals treated with MSCs had increased renal microvessel density compared to VEGF knockdown MSC-treated and vehicle-treated animals. These results show that VEGF is an important mediator of the early and late phase of renoprotective action after AKI in the context of stem cell treatment.