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Dr. Paula Slater talks about the feasibility of regenerative medicine in humans

Dr. Paula Slater talks about the feasibility of regenerative medicine in humans

african frog (Lush growth) arrived in Chile in 1973 due to an accidental introduction. Amphibians have been rapidly multiplying in the central region of Chile. Among the negative consequences is the displacement of local Chilean frog species, which are now threatened with extinction. But, in addition, this new amphibian began to be used in experimental medicine. Paula Slaterresearcher in University of San SebastianHe works with this frog in regenerative medicine.

This amphibian species is widely used as an experimental model for molecular biology, genetics and teratogenesis. In addition, they were used for the first pregnancy test and were the first vertebrate animal to be cloned. The Doctor, in conversation with Rockstars, refers to her research to help find the formula for regeneration in humans.

“This is a unique animal. There are species that are able to regenerate their entire lives, and others, like mammals, we can’t do that. So, this frog falls somewhere in the middle, because when it’s a tadpole it has a high capacity for regeneration. So, it can One studies all the cellular and molecular components that underlie a successful event.

Paula Slater, a researcher on the USS.

After metamorphosis, the African frog begins to lose its ability to regenerate. Now, in his youth, he could no longer regenerate. “So, all of this allows us to compare these two stages of the life of frogs, in order to find potential therapeutic targets and generate a treatment that we will eventually be able to deliver to what happens in humans.”“, points out the researcher.

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Paula Slater breaks down the differences

Regarding what studies have shown in the different states of the African frog, Paula Slater points out that before regeneration there are signaling pathways and there are cellular events that recapitulate and occur again in tadpoles as well, and therefore, it is something completely preserved. . “And in animals that are no longer regenerating, something quite similar also happens. For example, tissue regeneration is generated, as in the case of a scar. This is the same thing that happens in the non-regenerative stages of frogs.”

For this reason, when any type of damage occurs to the spinal cord, the most common outcome is possible paralysis. Regarding the experience of renewing this structure, which is specific to humans, the doctor points out “It is a bit difficult to study or promote regeneration. “So far, all the studies that have been done and the treatments are mainly aimed at preventing the spread of damage.”

In this context, he adds: “Spinal cord damage has two clear stages. When the damage itself is generated, the impact causes damage to tissues and nerve cells, which have their extensions in the spinal cord. But all this also generates a biochemical response or inflammation, which also increases the area of ​​damage. This can be observed up to months or years after spinal cord damage.

Paula Slater comments that since humans do not have the ability to regenerate, existing treatments today focus on stopping the spread of damage, so that the prognosis for the disease is not so poor. That is, try to control as much as possible. “There are some mammals that are unable to regenerate, but when studies (or research) are done, the axons – deep down – are trying to regenerate, moving a little, trying to find the place, but they cannot generate the reaction well.” The structure that will guide this new growth “Indicates.

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One of the main differences between animals that regenerate and those that do not has to do with mitochondria, with chemical activation of cells. This is only being studied and the reasons are being found. “We have seen in animals that regenerate that there is a change. Both phenotypic and functional. In the mitochondria. It is in the mitochondria that the most energy is generated. What we see, in the early stages, is that there is a change in form, a change in function, and the mitochondria stop working.

Finally, Paula Slater points out the possibility of transferring mitochondria between animals. “This is part of the current project. Until now, the process of transplanting or transferring mitochondria is a very complex process. We have to find the right conditions so that we can keep the mitochondria functional and so that they can be transferred to another organism. At least, there are studies in cell cultures and in models.” Animals suggest that when mitochondria are transplanted, cells are able to fuse them.”he explains.