Wednesday , January 27 2021

Scientists are able to partially regenerate the legs of amputated frogs



The findings of this study can be models for new cell stimulation therapies and allow progress in the treatment of amputation injuries in humans.

Early Dendropsophus kubricki.Pablo Venegas

A team of scientists from the University of Tufts, USA, managed partially to regenerate the legs of amputated frogs through the treatment of progesterone using a portable bioreactor linked to the wound, according to Cell Reports, yesterday.

The findings of this study can be models for new cell stimulation therapies and allow progress in the treatment of amputation injuries in humans.

Some species of the animal world, such as lizards or crabs, can be regenerated, but this does not happen in the case of African frogs known by the scientific name Ksenopus laevis and studied in this study.

This type of watery frog can regenerate its limbs in the early stages of its life, but it loses that ability in adulthood.

The researchers divided frogs into three groups to perform their experiment, all of which were glued to a portable bioreactor precisely instead of the wound left by the amputation.

Only the frogs of one group received progesterone through a bioreactor over a period of 24 hours, and the researchers recorded a partial regeneration of their limbs during nine months, which they did not see in the other two groups.

"A very short application of bioreactor and its carrier material (progesterone) has caused several months of growth and tissue," explained Michael Levin, one of the study authors and biologist at the Allen Detection Center at Tufts University in Massachusetts. (USA)

Frogs treated with progesterone showed partially regenerated legs, bones, innervation and vascularity, and could swim when placed in water as if they were not amputated.

Progesterone is a full hormone known for its functions at the beginning and development of pregnancy, but it has also proven to promote the repair of nerves, blood vessels and bone tissue.

"We looked at progesterone because it seemed promising to promote repair and regeneration of the nerve. It also modulates the immune response to promote healing and cause the blood vessels and bones to regrow," said neuroscientist Celia Herrero-Rincon, the author of the study.

The next step for the researchers is to conduct a similar study in mammals and try to get more evidence that the combination of drugs can be a new model for testing the therapeutic cocktails that enable the inducing regeneration in non-regenerative species.

In the world there are millions of people living with some limbs, inferior or superior, amputated and only in the United States there are two million in that situation.


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