Could Kidney Repair Require the Use of Stem Cells?

Researchers from the Harvard Stem Cell Institute have shown that it could actually be possible for the kidneys to repair themselves in some cases. This gives quite a bit of hope to those who are suffering from kidney malfunction and related issues. Before the doctors discovered this, they thought that the kidney cells needed scattered stem cell populations in order to heal, but the new research suggests that the mature cells in the kidney may be capable of healing on their own.

Research is showing that the cells in the kidney can actually multiply several times over as a means to help repair the kidney. They tagged mature kidney cells in mice that did not have stem cell markers and observed them. The thought was that these cells would not do anything after an injury, other than perhaps die. The results were exciting, as it showed that those mature cells actually had the capacity to heal. Previously, they believed that it required stem cells to heal properly.

This research is showing similar findings to a previous study that looked at the cells of the adrenal glands and found that they were able to regenerate naturally and without the need to add stem cells.

Researchers hope to use this discovery when it comes to helping those who have suffered from some type of kidney injury. While the research is still new, and there will likely need to be more studies done, it is showing quite a bit of promise. They want to find drugs that will be able to speed up the natural process that can occur in the body. This can help the kidney cells to respond more quickly after injury. This will speed up healing, and it could reduce the formation of scar tissue on the kidneys, which could lead to other issues.

Read More

http://hsci.harvard.edu/news/kidney-repair-may-not-require-stem-cells

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