08:53 AM

Humans May Possess Ability to Regrow Cartilage

Health Day reports on the findings of a study which suggest humans have the ability to restore cartilage in the joints, by using a molecular process similar to one that allows a salamander to grow a new limb. Additionally, researchers found the capability exists in a "gradient" - with it being greatest in the ankle, less apparent in the knee, and lowest in the hip.

Scott A. Rodeo, MD, sports medicine surgeon at HSS, who was not involved in the study, provided commentary on the results, inquiring if this could explain why osteoarthritis is common in the knees, hips, but not the ankles. "Its been assumed that it's related to the biomechanics of the joints," said Dr. Rodeo. However, this study suggests there might be intrinsic differences in the joints' ability to repair cartilage, he added.

Additionally, Dr. Rodeo inquired whether this human capacity can translate into new treatments for arthritis, noting "Can we better understand the basic biology, and harness it?" Furthermore, he posed, "Can we learn lessons from animals that do regenerate tissue, and apply that to humans?"

Read the article at consumer.healthday.com.