Development and Regeneration

Idea#85

Stage: Active

Campaign: NORMAL BIOLOGY/DEVELOPMENT

Before we can think about stem cells or iPS cell based therapies, we need to understand how renal epithelial cells are programmed. Basic studies in development and differentiation will help to identify factors that could be used for reprogramming. We may find that it is easier to reprogram a renal fibroblast or myofibroblast into an epithelial cell if we introduce the right combination of factors. These ideas are being pursued in the pancreas and other tissues. Pushing forward with stem cell based therapies without a basic understanding of development is potentially dangerous. Of course this is a biased view from a basic scientist.

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(latest 20 votes)

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  1. Comment
    sanjay jain

    i agree with this view, and believe it is necessary to understand this to be able to manipulate the cellular and anatomical architecture already laid out to make kidneys more resistant to damage or repair and regenerate.

  2. Comment
    Samir El-Dahr

    I agree with Greg and Sanjay. Both genetic and epigenetic factors must be delineated since it likely that one will not work without the other.

  3. Comment
    Angela Wandinger-Ness

    Indeed there is still significant disagreement about the characteristics, location and functions of adult renal stem cells relative to other organs. While this may in part reflect the complexity to the kidney, I feel strongly that this is an under-explored area that would benefit from greater investment of research energy from developmental, cell biological, biochemical as well as genetic perspectives.

  4. Comment
    Hila Barak

    I agree with this idea and believe that understanding what is the molecular mechanism that regulate cell to be committed to a specific fate within the developing kidney will help us to understand both approaches- reprogramming of adult cells in the adult kidney and also will give support to research of iPS and stem cells.

  5. Comment
    Feng Chen

    I also agree that the successful implementation of any renal regeneration/repair therapy requires better understanding of kidney development. There is sufficient evidence in other organ systems and in the kidney itself that similar molecular circuits are governing development and regeneration/repair. In addition to proliferation, growth, and differentiation during the formation of functional structures, normal development also provides us an important lesson on maturation/termination that prevents potential overcompensation in regeneration and the risk of tumorigenesis.

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