By Alla Katsnelson for TheScientist.com:
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 a study published this week in Genes and Development.
The findings are “really unexpected,” said 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.