Pregnancy boosts the regenerative capacity of the liver in mice, a finding that may shed light on a process entirely separate from pregnancy -- aging, researchers report in linkurl:a study; published this week in Genes and Development.
lithograph of liver, Gray's Anatomy
Image: Wikimedia Commons
The findings are "really unexpected," said linkurl:Nikolai Timchenko,; who studies liver regeneration and aging at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. He noted that the researchers identified a specific regeneration mechanism present only during pregnancy and harnessed the relevant pathway to boost liver regeneration in aging mice. "I think from a molecular point of view this is the major discovery of this work," he said. "The loss of regenerative capacity of tissues with age is one of the main characteristics of aging," Timchenko, who didn't participate in the work, wrote in an email. Scientists have known for many years that old mice lose...

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