Research Highlights: Multi-drug treatment regenerates African clawed frog limbs


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By Brian Gratwicke – Flickr: Xenopus laevis, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23752908

Multi-drug treatment regenerates African clawed frog limbs

  • Limb regeneration is one of the most sought regeneration among vertebrates.
  • It is important to identify the triggers of natural morphological responses to induce the development of healthy-patterned tissue.
  • The discovery should help millions of patients suffering from diabetes and traumatic injuries.
  • Human limb loss in the United States is expected to increase significantly affecting more than 3 million individuals per year by 2050.
  • Adult African clawed frog has a limited regenerative capacities similar to humans.
  • This frog can serve as a model to test interventions for regeneration.
  • Researchers revealed tissue regrowth and functional restoration of an amputated African clawed frog hind limb.
  • The regeneration process took about 18 months.
  • The frog’s hind limb was exposed to a multi-drug pro-regenerative treatment delivered by a wearable bioreactor.
  • The bioreactor contains silk protein and five small-molecule compounds namely 1,4-dihydrophenonthrolin-4-one-3carboxylic acid, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, growth hormone, resolvin D5, and retinoic acid.
  • The treatment regenerated the skin, bone, and nerves up to a point that exceed the complexity of untreated control group.
  • RNA analysis of the new tissues showed that some of the developmental pathways were activated.
  • The study highlights the way of triggering the internal regenerative processes in vertebrates.

Source:

Murugan, N. J., Vigran, H. J., Miller, K. A., Golding, A., Pham, Q. L., Sperry, M. M., Rasmussen-Ivey, C., Kane, A. W., Kaplan, D. L., & Levin, M. (2022). Acute multidrug delivery via a wearable bioreactor facilitates long-term limb regeneration and functional recovery in adult Xenopus laevis. Science advances, 8(4), eabj2164. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abj2164

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