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Regenerating our kidneys
Date:6/16/2014

Doctors and scientists have for years been astonished to observe patients with kidney disease experiencing renal regeneration. The kidney, unlike its neighbor the liver, was universally understood to be a static organ once it had fully developed.

Now a new study conducted by researchers at Sheba Medical Center, Tel Aviv University and Stanford University turns that theory on its head by pinpointing the precise cellular signalling responsible for renal regeneration and exposing the multi-layered nature of kidney growth. The research, in Cell Reports, was conducted by principal investigators Dr. Benjamin Dekel of TAU's Sackler School of Medicine and Sheba Medical Center and Dr. Irving L. Weissman of Stanford University's School of Medicine, working with teams of researchers from both universities.

"We wanted to change the way people thought about kidneys about internal organs altogether," said Dr. Dekel, who specializes in stem-cell research, genetics, and nephrology. "Very little is known even now about the way our internal organs function at the single cell level. This study flips the paradigm that kidney cells are static in fact, kidney cells are continuously growing, all the time."

Dr. Dekel began researching the subject three years ago while on sabbatical at Stanford University. While the laboratory experiments and stem cell research were conducted at Stanford, the results were analyzed by researchers at TAU and Stanford.

According to Dr. Dekel, scientists knew kidney cells could reproduce outside the body, but the physiological process taking place inside the body at the single cell level was never explored. Uncovering that process became the focus of his efforts.

Dr. Dekel and his research team conducted a study using a "rainbow mouse" model developed at Stanford's Weissman lab, a mouse genetically altered to express one of four alternative fluorescent markers called "reporters" in each cell. The mar
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Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert

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