Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Researchers one step closer to understanding regeneration in mammals


Date:April 25, 2016
Source:University of Kentucky

A third species of African spiny mouse can completely close four millimeter ear holes and regenerate missing tissue, researchers have found, building upon their 2012 landmark discovery. This new study suggests that genetic factors underlie variation in regenerative ability.

A long-standing question in biology is why humans have poor regenerative ability compared to other vertebrates? While tissue injury normally causes us to produce scar tissue, why can't we regenerate an entire digit or piece of skin? A group of University of Kentucky researchers is one step closer to answering these questions after studying a unique mammal, and its ears.

The team's new findings come on the heels of UK Assistant Professor of Biology Ashley Seifert's landmark discovery in 2012 that two species of African spiny mice found in Kenya could regenerate damaged skin. The group built on this work to show that a third species of spiny mouse, Acomys cahirinus, could completely close four millimeter ear holes and regenerate the missing tissue. Their recent work examined repair of ear holes across a number of different mammals and revealed that regeneration appears to be a unique trait.

While three species of wild African spiny mice and New Zealand white rabbits were capable of regenerating ear tissue, outbred laboratory mice and inbred strains such as the MRL healer mice failed to do so and instead healed the wounds by scarring.

"First we need to understand how mammalian regeneration works in a natural setting, then comes the potential to create therapeutic treatments for humans," said Thomas Gawriluk, postdoctoral scholar and co-lead author of the study.

No comments:

Post a comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails

ShareThis