Sunday, October 1, 2023

Diabetes: You are studying the use of stem cells to treat kidney damage

Researchers from the National University of Moreno work in one experimental cell therapy to treat Kidney damage caused by diabetes, a leading cause of death in terminally ill patients. To do this, the work team uses a type of Stem cells called MUSE. These cells are extracted umbilical cord and due to their high regenerative capacity, they would enable the repair of damaged kidney tissue.

“The diabetic nephropathy “It’s kidney damage caused by diabetes,” he explains. Andres Orqueda, CONICET researcher at UNM. The kidney can often heal or repair itself. However, “in some cases this Damage becomes chronic; and as the damage becomes more severe, a end-stage chronic kidney disease“, he adds. When the disease reaches its final stage, it can be treated in two ways: through dialysis or through a transplant.

In Argentina there are around 30,000 dialysis patients and more than 5,000 people are waiting for a kidney transplant. This new therapy with stem cells aims to “fight diabetic nephropathy at an early stage so that it does not become chronic kidney disease and certainly not an incurable disease,” says Orqueda. Due to the public health implications, this project was supported by the Provincial Scientific Research Commission.

What is kidney damage?

The kidney is the organ responsible for filtering blood and producing urine. A patient with chronic kidney disease may experience acute renal dysfunction at some point. “We recognize this malfunction because the urine does not contain the typical components,” explains the researcher.

Urine is a vehicle for excreting nitrogen-containing waste products from the body. “But If the disease is chronic, the body constantly excretes some metabolites or molecules from the body that should not be excreted“ Orqueda clarifies.

One of them is this albumin. “This is a protein that the normally functioning kidney can retain in the blood; but if it passes from the blood into the urine, that indicates it There are signs that it doesn’t work very well“, He specifies.

However, in a patient with chronic kidney disease Changes are observed in kidney tissue. “Especially in the thickened basement membranes because there are cells that overproduce certain types of proteins that form the so-called extracellular matrix.”

Medical treatment consists of pharmacological control of blood sugar and blood pressure.. In this case, the experts propose at the experimental level “the use of cell therapy before and during the onset of kidney damage if it is not yet severe” explains Orqueda.

What are MUSE cells and what potential do they have?

Read MUSE cells They are a type of cells called pluripotent. This means that they can produce cells that come from the three embryonic tissues, i.e. the ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm. They have been used in other types of experimental therapies to treat myocardial infarctions that help repair heart tissue. They have a high regenerative capacity and, compared to other stem cells, do not produce teratomas, a type of tumor..

“These are cells that exist in the body and are scattered in other tissues, for example in fatty tissue, which is distributed in different parts of the body,” explains Andrés Orqueda.

However, there are two other types of pluripotent cells that have been well studied. “They have known each other for a long time, some of them already embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and there is another type of pluripotent cell called induced pluripotent stem cells (PSCs)“.

Administration of these two types of pluripotent cells could repair damaged organ tissue and altered functions. However, Orqueda warns that “this type of treatment not only repairs the tissue, but can also generate cells that normally come from the ectoderm, endoderm and mesoderm.” They then form teratomas. In other words: There is a risk of tumors developing.”

To avoid the risk of tumor formation, the project envisages the use of MUSE cells since “the great appeal of these cells is that they do not form teratomas and our hypothesis is that they support kidney repair.” adds the researcher.

How might MUSE cells repair damaged tissue? “Not so much because they are different from the injured tissue, but because they secrete different factors that help the cells that survive in the kidney repair themselves. It would be like using it to help the kidney, which already has the ability to repair itself and restore kidney function,” he says.

MUSE cells are obtained from various sources. Adipose tissue is the most accessible because it is the least invasive. “In this project, we propose to use human blood cells from the umbilical cord as a source and use them in mice.”. To advance this study, UNM has signed a joint working agreement with the Moreno’s motherhood Estela de Carlotto.

The project is carried out as part of the Academic Program for Research and Innovation in Biotechnology (PAIIB) of Moreno National University. The team is led by Diego Riva and Andrés Orqueda and consists of Bárbara Espindola, Débora Garanzini, Sandra Salinas and Leonardo Romorini.

Nation World News Desk
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