TEXAS – In an important study, Texas A&M University scientists have noticed the partial growth of amputated toes in mice, with the help of two proteins namely BMP2 and BMP9. Following this research, it could become possible for scientists to replace amputated limbs in humans in the future.
In the past, scientists had already achieved bone growth and now this study shows joint growth as well through a complex process. Post this achievement, it could become easier to ensure the growth of limbs as well, since both joints as well as bones are crucial for it.
BMP2 protein was previously used in the bone regeneration of mice. Now, with the addition of another protein, BMP9, to it and using the combination hence formed on mice the scientists are able to recover the amputated toes. The recovery becomes possible due to the fast formation of cartilage in the amputated area. Without this combination of protein, it would not have been possible to see this result. Earlier, both bone as well as joint growth was not witnessed in any limb regeneration. Cartilage, being a key part of joints plays a key role in the regeneration of limbs.
“These studies provide evidence that treatment of growth factors can be used to engineer a regeneration response from a non-regenerating amputation wound,” said the researchers.
Also, the research showed that the results were effective when BMP2 was applied first and BMP9 used after a week. A growth of more complete joint structures was noticed with some connections to the bone. However, a lot more has to come here, as full limb generation in mice could take time. And since the skeleton structure in humans bears a resemblance to that of mice, this study could be applied onto humans too to regenerate limbs.
The scientists shared that the cells in mammals possess the capability to regenerate the body parts under the right conditions. They also said that this finding would play an effective role in treatments for joint degenerative disorders such as osteoarthritis. In the future, it could become possible to naturally replace the cartilage rather than transplanting them.