Adult kidney stem cells found in fish

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 - 14:30 in Health & Medicine

It has long been a given that adult humans — and mammals in general — lack the capacity to grow new nephrons, the kidney’s delicate blood filtering tubules, which has meant that dialysis, and ultimately kidney transplantation, is the only option for the more than 450,000 Americans who have kidney failure. But a new study by Harvard Stem Cell Institute researchers and collaborators at the University of Pittsburgh may turn that paradigm on its head, and someday lead to a new treatment for those suffering from kidney disease. Led by Alan J. Davidson, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School at the time the research was conducted, a collaborative team from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital’s Center for Regenerative Medicine has identified adult kidney stem cells in the zebrafish that can generate new nephrons. These cells can be transplanted from one fish to another fish, whereby they grow into...

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