Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New model for organ repair

Date:
November 1, 2013
Source:
Harvard University
Summary:
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.

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 marker -- it 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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Harvard University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. T. Kusaba, M. Lalli, R. Kramann, A. Kobayashi, B. D. Humphreys. Differentiated kidney epithelial cells repair injured proximal tubule. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2013; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1310653110

Cite This Page:

Harvard University. "New model for organ repair." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131101125504.htm>.
Harvard University. (2013, November 1). New model for organ repair. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131101125504.htm
Harvard University. "New model for organ repair." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131101125504.htm (accessed September 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 23, 2014) The WHO has warned up to 20,000 people could be infected with Ebola over the next few weeks. As Sonia Legg reports, the implications for the West African countries suffering from the disease are huge. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) Health officials warn that without further intervention, the number of Ebola cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone could reach 1.4 million by January. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

AFP (Sep. 23, 2014) The number of Ebola infections will triple to 20,000 by November, soaring by thousands every week if efforts to stop the outbreak are not stepped up radically, the WHO warned in a study on Tuesday. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) No surprise here: A recent study says men can reduce their risk of heart attack by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which includes daily exercise. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins