In an unusual but useful example of cellular flip-flop, a new research study demonstrates that multiple cell types have the ability to temporarily switch into renin-secreting cells when they are needed to stabilize blood pressure. The research, published in the May issue of Developmental Cell, demonstrates that the recruited cells are direct descendants of cells that expressed renin at one time during development.
Renin is a hormone released into the blood by specialized cells in the walls of kidney blood vessels. Renin is released in response to sodium depletion and/or low blood pressure in the blood vessels of the kidneys and it plays a major role in regulating blood pressure generally in the body. Adult mammals can increase circulating renin, when necessary, by increasing the number of renin-synthesizing cells. Dr. R. Ariel Gomez from the University of Virginia and colleagues examined whether the ability of adult cells to synthesize renin was dependent on the cells original lineage. The researchers generated mice with a genetic marker that allowed visualization of renin-expressing cells even after the cell had differentiated into a non-renin-secreting cell type. Experimental manipulations known to recruit renin-expressing cells demonstrated that adult cells that were descendants of renin cells retained the capability to make renin when more of the hormone was required to stabilize blood pressure.
The researchers conclude that specific subpopulations of apparently differentiated cells are "held in reserve" to repeatedly respond by de-differentiating and expressing renin in response to stress and then re-differentiating when the crisis has passed. According to Dr. Gomez, "The experiments confirm that recruitment of renin-expressing cells is determined by the developmental history of the cells, which retain the memory to re-express the renin gene under physiological stress. The mice we have generated should be extremely valuable to delete genes specifically in the renin-expressing cell and therefore determine the precise cellular function of those genes independently of systemic influences."
Heidi Hardman | EurekAlert!
Nonstop Tranport of Cargo in Nanomachines
20.11.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare Zellbiologie und Genetik
Researchers find social cultures in chimpanzees
20.11.2018 | Universität Leipzig
Max Planck researchers revel the nano-structure of molecular trains and the reason for smooth transport in cellular antennas.
Moving around, sensing the extracellular environment, and signaling to other cells are important for a cell to function properly. Responsible for those tasks...
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
19.11.2018 | Event News
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
20.11.2018 | Life Sciences
20.11.2018 | Life Sciences
20.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy