Navigation Links
A new model for organ repair

Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) researchers have a new model for how the kidney repairs itself, a model that adds to a growing body of evidence that mature cells are far more plastic than had previously been imagined.

After injury, mature kidney cells dedifferentiate into more primordial versions of themselves, and then differentiate into the cell types needing replacement in the damaged tissue. This finding conflicts with a previously held theory that the kidney has scattered stem cell populations that respond to injury. The research appears online in PNAS Early Edition.

HSCI Kidney Diseases Program Leader Benjamin Humphreys, MD, PhD, a Harvard Medical School assistant professor at Brigham and Women's Hospital, was suspicious of the kidney stem cell repair model because his previous work suggested that all kidney cells have the capacity to divide after injury. He and his colleagues decided to test conventional wisdom by genetically tagging mature kidney cells in mice that do not express stem cell markers; the hypothesis being that the mature cells should do nothing or die after injury. The results showed that not only do these fully differentiated cells multiply, but they can multiply several times as they help to repair the kidney.

"What was really interesting is when we looked at the appearance and expression patterns of these differentiated cells, we found that they expressed the exact same 'stem cell markers' that these other groups claimed to find in their stem cell populations," said Humphreys. "And so, if a differentiated cell is able to express a 'stem cell marker' after injury, then what our work shows is that that's an injury markerit doesn't define a stem cell."

This new interpretation of kidney repair suggests a model by which cells reprogram themselves; similar to the way mature cells can be chemically manipulated to revert to an induced pluripotent state. The research echoes a study published last month by HSCI Principal Faculty member David Breault, MD, PhD, who showed that cells in the adrenal glands also regenerate by means of natural lineage conversion.

"One has to remember that not every organ necessarily is endowed with clear and well-defined stem cell populations, like the intestines or the skin," Humphreys explained. "I'm not saying that kidney stem cells don't exist, but in tissues where cell division is very slow during homeostasis, there may not have been an evolutionary pressure for stem cell mechanisms of repair."

He plans to apply his kidney repair discovery to define new therapeutic targets in acute kidney injury. The goal would be to find drugs that accelerate the process of dedifferentiation and proliferation of mature kidney cells in response to injury, as well as slow down pathways that impair healing or lead to scar tissue formation.


Contact: B. D. Colen
Harvard University

Related biology news :

1. Hippocampal and thalamic neuronal metabolism in a putative rat model of schizophrenia
2. Model virus structure shows why theres no cure for common cold
3. Advanced Open Access publishing model
4. Model plant misled scientists about multicellular growth
5. Study explores the role of uncertainty in infectious disease modelling
6. Rensselaer researchers create accurate computer model of RNA tetraloop
7. Model of dangerous bee disease in Jersey provides tool in fight against honeybee infections
8. Researchers develop model of near-optimal genetic code
9. Elevated levels of copper in amyloid plaques associated with neurodegeneration in mouse models of AD
10. Computer model predicts red blood cell flow
11. Mount Sinai researchers develop first successful laboratory model for studying hepatitis C
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/18/2015)... -- As new scientific discoveries deepen our understanding of how ... face challenges in better using that knowledge to guide ... more children continue to survive pediatric cancer, that counseling ... John M. Maris, M.D ., a pediatric ... . --> John M. Maris, M.D ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... LIVERMORE, Calif. , Nov. 17, 2015  Vigilant ... has joined its Board of Directors. ... Vigilant,s Board after recently retiring from the partnership at ... owning 107 companies with over $140 Billion in revenue.  ... performance improvement across all the TPG companies, from 1997 ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... , Nov. 12, 2015  Arxspan has entered ... MIT and Harvard for use of its ArxLab ... management tools. The partnership will support the institute,s ... and chemical research information internally and with external ... used for managing the Institute,s electronic laboratory notebook, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... The Academy ... Special Interest Group (SIG), MultiGP, also known as Multirotor Grand Prix, to represent the ... last few years. Many AMA members have embraced this type of racing and several ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... November 24, 2015 --> ... research report released by Transparency Market Research, the global ... a CAGR of 17.5% during the period between 2014 ... - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Volume, Share, Growth, Trends ... prenatal testing market to reach a valuation of US$2.38 ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ:  AEZS) ... remaining 11,000 post-share consolidation (or 1,100,000 pre-share consolidation) ... B Warrants") subject to the previously disclosed November ... 2015, which will result in the issuance of ... the issuance of such shares, there will be ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... In harsh industrial processes, ... for in-line sensors can represent a weak spot where leaking process media is ... retractable sensor housings , which are designed to tolerate extreme process conditions. They ...
Breaking Biology Technology: