Connect with us

Health

First human kidney tissue capable of producing urine developed

Published

on

Kidney glomeruli
A stunning medical breakthrough has seen human kidney tissue capable of producing urine grown in the lab. This image shows a nephron, the microscopic structural and functional unit of the kidney. (PC- University of Manchester)

London, Feb 10: In a first for medical science, scientists have successfully produced human kidney tissue within a living organism that is able to produce urine, a significant milestone in the development of treatment for kidney disease.

Using stem cells, scientists from the University of Manchester, created mini-kidneys that were implanted into mice. Tests revealed they were able to filter and excrete waste.

In the study, published in the journal Stem Cell Reports, kidney glomeruli — a constituent microscopic parts of the organ — were generated from human embryonic stem cells grown in plastic laboratory culture dishes.

These were combined with a gel like substance, which acted as natural connective tissue — and then injected as a tiny clump under the skin of mice.

After three months, an examination of the tissue revealed that nephrons — the microscopic structural and functional units of the kidney — had formed.

The new structures contained most of the constituent parts present in human nephrons — including proximal tubules, distal tubules, Bowman’s capsule and Loop of Henle.

Tiny human blood vessels — known as capillaries — had developed inside the mice which nourished the new kidney structures.

“We have proved beyond any doubt these structures function as kidney cells by filtering blood and producing urine — though we can’t yet say what percentage of function exists,” said Sue Kimber, Professor at the varsity.

“What is particularly exciting is that the structures are made of human cells which developed an excellent capillary blood supply, becoming linked to the vasculature of the mouse,”

“Though this structure was formed from several hundred glomeruli, and humans have about a million in their kidneys — this is clearly a major advance,” Kimber said.

However, the mini-kidneys lack a large artery, and without that, the organ’s function will only be a fraction of normal.

Thus, researchers are working with surgeons to put in an artery that will bring more blood the new kidney.

The results may help create working human kidneys for transplant in people with kidney disease.

Annually, 2.6 million people worldwide receive dialysis or kidney transplantation for end-stage kidney disease (ESKD), while around 2.2 million people with kidney disease die prematurely, unable to access treatment.

Kidney transplants are in short supply and an adult on long-term dialysis has an average life expectancy of barely a decade.

Therapies that prevent the progression of chronic kidney disease to end-stage kidney disease are therefore, urgently needed, the researchers said.

IANS

Health

How mushrooms can aid in diabetes treatment

Published

on

mushroom

New York, Aug 17: Eating white button mushrooms daily can act as a prebiotic by improving microbial community in the gut, which could then improve the regulation of glucose in the liver, a finding that could one day pave way for new diabetes treatments, say researchers.

In the study, feeding white button mushrooms to mice changed the composition of gut microbes — microbiota — to produce more short chain fatty acids, specifically propionate from succinate, according to Margherita T. Cantorna, Professor at Pennsylvania State University in the US.

Previous research has shown that succinate and propionate can change the expression of genes needed to manage glucose production, she said.

“Managing glucose better has implications for diabetes, as well as other metabolic diseases,” Cantorna noted.

The study, reported in the Journal of Functional Foods, used two types of mice who were fed about a daily serving size of the mushrooms. One group had microbiota, the other were germ-free.

Consuming the mushrooms set off a chain reaction among the gut bacteria, expanding the population of Prevotella — a bacteria that produces propionate and succinate.

These acids can change the expression of genes that are key to the pathway between the brain and the gut that helps manage the production of glucose, or gluconeogenesis.

The mushrooms, in this case, serve as a prebiotic, which is a substance that feeds beneficial bacteria that are already existing in the gut. Probiotics are live beneficial bacteria that are introduced into the digestive system.

Beyond the possible beneficial benefits of mushrooms as a prebiotic, Cantorna said that this study also shows more evidence that there is a tight connection between diet and microbiota.

“It’s pretty clear that almost any change you make to the diet, changes the microbiota,” Cantorna added.

IANS

Continue Reading

Health

Cabbage, broccoli could help prevent colon cancer: Study

Published

on

Broccoli-And-Cabbage

London, Aug 16: Eating green leafy vegetables such as kale, cabbage as well as broccoli could help maintain a healthy gut and prevent colon cancer, says a new study.

The findings revealed that mice fed on a diet rich in indole-3-carbinol (I3C) — which is produced when we digest these vegetables — were protected from gut inflammation and colon cancer as it activates a protein called the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR).

AhR acts as an environmental sensor, passing signals to immune cells and epithelial cells in the gut lining to protect us from inflammatory responses to the trillions of bacteria that live in the gut.

In the study, published in the journal Immunity, when genetically modified mice — that cannot produce or activate AhR in their guts — were fed a diet enriched with I3C, they did not develop inflammation or cancer.

But “when mice whose cancer was already developing were switched to the I3C-enriched diet, they ended up with significantly fewer tumours which were also more benign,” said lead author Amina Metidji from the Francis Crick Institute in the UK.

Moreover, the team found that normal mice fed on standard or I3C-enriched food did not develop tumours, while those fed on a ‘purified control diet’ developed colon tumours within 10 weeks.

Purified control diets contain exact mixtures of carbohydrates, proteins, fats and fibres enriched with vitamins and minerals, but have fewer AhR-promoting chemicals.

“This suggests that even without genetic risk factors, a diet devoid of vegetable matter can lead to colon cancer,” the researchers noted.

The study shows that while we cannot “change the genetic factors that increase our risk of cancer, we can probably mitigate these risks by adopting an appropriate diet with plenty of vegetables”.

Continue Reading

Health

Exercise may reduce irregular heartbeat risk in obese people

Published

on

exercise-workout-gym-yoga

Atrial fibrillation is a condition that can make your heart race and put you at risk for stroke. But people who are obese are more prone to it and can reduce it if they exercise regularly.

According to a study, people with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30 have a significantly higher risk of developing atrial fibrillation than the normal weight individuals.

“People who reported that they didn’t exercise at all had about double the risk of developing fibrillation when compared to those who were physically active and whose body weight was normal,” said co-author Lars Elnan Garnvik from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s (NTNU).

“However, people who were obese but who exercised a lot limited the increase in risk to no more than approximately 50 per cent. This suggests that physical activity is good for limiting the increased risk of atrial fibrillation in obese people,” Garnvik added.

For the study, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, the research team involved 43,602 men and women who participated in the study between 2006 and 2008.

“Physical activity and exercise reduce a lot of the known risk factors for atrial fibrillation, like high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol and chronic inflammation,” said co-author Lars Elnan Garnvik from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

“Physical activity can also improve a person’s fitness level, and we know that people in good shape have a reduced risk of heart failure,” Garnvik added.

IANS

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Most Popular