With their exciting discovery of the cellular signaling responsible for renal regeneration, scientists from Sheba Medical Center, Tel Aviv University, and Stanford University aim to change the way researchers think about kidneys. Using a special mouse model to track cell growth in vivo, they made surprising discoveries about how growth really happens in the kidney. According to the principal investigator, Dr. Benjamin Dekel of Tel Aviv University’s Sackler School of Medicine and Sheba Medical Center, “Each part of the nephron is responsible for its own growth, each segment responsible for its own development, like a tree trunk and branches — each branch grows at a different pace and in a different direction.” He and his colleagues have proven that cellular growth in the kidney is ongoing; they have traced that growth back to WNT signaling. They believe that activating the WNT pathway could one day be the key to kickstarting kidney regeneration in patients.
Cellular Signaling for Kidney Regeneration Discovered, ScienceDaily, June 16, 2014