Scientists at the University of Manchester yesterday said they have successfully produced human kidney tissue within a living organism, which was able to produce urine, a first for medical science. According to the findings of a new study published in the journal, ‘Stem Cell Reports,’ after three months, an examination of the tissue revealed that nephrons; the microscopic structural and functional units of the kidney had formed.
The study showed that 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. Similarly, tiny human blood vessels, known as capillaries, had developed inside the experimental mice, which nourished the new kidney structures.
However, the mini-kidneys lack a large artery and without that the or-an’s function will only be a fraction of normal, the ‘independentuk’ reported. Going by rising cases of hypertension, diabetes and gluromerunephritis, especially in the African region, kidney failure had been on the increase, resulting in many looking for kidneys to be donated to them for transplantation. Although, a few had been lucky to get donation and ultimately transplanted with the organ, several others had died on the waiting list.
However, the creation of a new functioning kidney tissue may ultimately meet the need of such patients and end trauma faced by them. The study led by Professors Sue Kimber and Adrian Woolf, from the University of Manchester, signified a significant milestone in the development of treatment for kidney disease.
Kidneys are involved in regulating blood pressure, electrolyte balance, and red blood cell production in the body. Symptoms of kidney failure are due to the build-up of waste products and excess fluid in the body that may cause weakness, shortness of breath, lethargy, swelling, and confusion.
Kidney glomeruli, constituent microscopic parts of the organ, were generated from human embryonic stem cells grown in plastic laboratory culture dishes containing a nutrient broth known as culture medium, containing molecules to promote kidney development. They 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.