Breakthrough in Regenerative Medicine Market: Discovery related to Limb and Organ Regeneration bringing Science closer to Regenerative Medicine Therapies
Posted On September 17, 2021
Salamanders have a unique ability where they can regenerate a lost limb, something that adult mammals and humans cannot do. Their regeneration abilities have been at the center of scientific research for years as several scientists would like to understand the source of their power further and adapt that in other beings as well. Still, there had not been much progress in this sector within the scientific field till now.
Finally, a research team has had a breakthrough and discovered that differences in molecular signaling help regeneration within axolotl (a highly regenerative salamander), but it is blocked in the adult mouse (mammal with limited regenerative ability). The new astounding findings will have immensely positive effects on the Regenerative Medicine Market as the world comes to a big step closer to solving this thousand yearlong mystery. In the future, we may even be able to provide regenerative medicine therapies to humans, thus, increasing the quality of life for people.
Mammals do not regenerate their lost or injured body parts; instead, they form a scar at the place of the injury. This is because the scar creates a physical barrier to regeneration. The present research tries to understand the reasons behind axolotl not forming a scar or why it responds to the injury differently from a mouse or other mammals.
The axolotl is a Mexican salamander mostly in the extinct category and is the favorite species for regenerative medicine research as it is nature’s champion regenerator. Although most salamanders have this ability, the axolotl regenerates almost any body part such as lungs, skin, jaws, tail, ovaries, heart, spinal cord, brain, limbs, and more.
The present study compared immune cells referred to as macrophages present within axolotl and mouse to identify the quality in axolotl macrophages that helps in regeneration. The new study builds upon an earlier one where the researchers discovered that macrophages are essential to regeneration. If they are depleted, then instead of regenerating a limb, the axolotl will instead form a scar.
Researchers in the current research noted that macrophage signaling in axolotl and mouse was the same when the organisms were exposed to pathogens like viruses, bacteria, and funguses. However, when exposed to injury, the macrophage signaling in the axolotl resulted in the growth of a news tissue, whereas in mouse it promoted scarring.
The study concludes that humans have untapped potential for regeneration if the problem of scarring is solved. Since axolotls don’t scar, they can regenerate their injured limbs, but once a scar is formed, no regeneration can take place. If somehow humans were prevented from scarring, then there is a huge chance that quality of life for many could be enhanced.