Sunday, November 14, 2021
Spiny Mice Appear to Regenerate Damaged Kidneys
According to published research, a unique rodent known as the spiny mouse appears to be able to regenerate kidney tissue. The scientists discovered that after wounding the spiny mice's kidneys to replicate kidney disease, they were able to restore the function and structure of nephrons, the microscopic filters that form the kidney, without the harmful damage that arises in mammals. Mark Majesky, the study's lead author and a regenerative medicine researcher at the University of Washington and Seattle Children's Research Institute, compared the responses of spiny mice and house mice (Mus musculus) to kidney damage. Scientists operated on the mice, impeding urine flow into the kidney and damaging tissue directly, then observing to determine whether organ structure and function regenerated. In the spiny mice, the procedure appeared to provide scarless wound healing. The identical injuries that the spiny mice appeared to be unaffected by inflicted scarring in the house mice. Scarring may accumulate gradually over time and contribute to catastrophic organ failure, similarly as it might in human organ damage, implying that discovering the fundamentals of mammalian regeneration might one day be beneficial to medicine. However, criticisms of the research included the idea that the scientists had not inflicted enough injuries due to the lack of collagen build-up, and comparing the mice is not feasible since they have completely different lifespans. A spiny mouse and a house mouse of identical age may be at separate stages of development. Although far more research is needed before the observations can be implemented into something clinically effective for humans, there is optimism for a future in which regenerative treatment might cure illnesses and avoid potential organ failure in humans. Using the spiny mouse or other species with incredible regeneration capacities as a model for urgent medical care might still be valuable. Researching novel techniques to stimulate healing, either through scarless tissue regeneration or another, might lead to treatments to keep patients alive in hospitals.