Saturday , September 25 2021

Researchers are able to partially regenerate the legs of amputated frogs



The results of this research may be a model for new cell stimulation treatments and allow progress in the treatment of human amputational damage.

Rana Dendropsophus kubricki.Pablo Venegas

A team of researchers from the American University of Tufts has managed to partially regenerate the legs of amputated frogs through a progesterone treatment with a portable bioreactor attached to the wound site, according to the newspaper Cell Reports yesterday.

The results of this research may be a model for new cell stimulation treatments and allow progress in the treatment of human amputational damage.

Some species of animal world like lizards or crabs can regenerate, but this does not happen to the African nail frog, known by the scientific name Xenopus laevis and studied in this study.

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

The researchers shared the frogs into three groups to perform their experiments and all sewn with the portable bioreactor only instead of the wound left by the amputation.

Only frogs in one of the groups received progesterone through the bioreactor for a period of 24 hours, and the researchers observed in them over nine months a partial regeneration of their extremities not seen in the other two groups.

"A very short application of the bioreactor and its payload (of progesterone) caused months of growth and tissue patterns," explains Michael Levin, one of the authors of the study and a biologist at the Allen Discovery Center at Tufts University in Massachusetts. (USA).

The frogs treated with progesterone partially showed regenerated bones, legs, innervation and vascularity and could swim when placed in the water as if they had not been amputated.

Progesterone is a sex hormone known for its functions in the appearance and development of pregnancy, but it has also been shown to promote the repair of the nerves, blood vessel and bone tissue.

"We watched progesterone because it seemed promising to promote nerve repair and regeneration. It also modulates the immune response to promote healing and trigger the reoccurrence of blood vessels and bones," said neuroscience Celia Herrero-Rincón, author of the study.

The next step for the researchers is to do a similar study in mammals and try to get more evidence that the combination of drug devices may be a new model for testing therapeutic cocktails that allow inducing regeneration in non-regenerative species.

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


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