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January 29, 2016

Penn medical researchers find important link in kidney regeneration

Research offers hopeful step toward regeneration of kidney cells at will

Research Penn
Kidney cells regrowth graphic Cell Symposia/Creative Commons

The kidney has a tremendous capability for regeneration following injury.

University of Pennsylvania medical researchers found a link for explaining how the kidney regenerates, or repairs, following an injury, a hopeful step toward one day generating kidney cells at will. 

According to the research team, led by associate professor of medicine Katalin Susztak, M.D., Ph.D., and published on the Penn Medicine News Blog, the regenerating cells were found to be rich in the protein Sox9, and that's what controls the regeneration of an injured kidney.

"In regenerating kidneys, Sox9 expression rose quickly, in particular, and close to 90 percent of proliferating cells were Sox9 positive," the blog noted.

"In test tube experiments (conducted using isolated mouse kidney cells), Sox9-positive cells showed unlimited proliferation and multi-lineage differentiation capacity."

The research offers a potential leap toward learning how to one day generate kidney cells at will and subsequently cure illness and save lives, the blog post said.

Read the full research summary at the Penn Medicine News Blog.

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