Macrophages are demonstrably important in tissue regeneration. The process of regeneration is an intricate dance of signaling and activity carried out between stem and progenitor cells, somatic cells of varying types, senescent cells, and immune cells such as macrophages. The research of recent years strongly suggests that differences in macrophage behavior are in some way fundamental to the exceptional regeneration exhibited by species as diverse as salamanders, zebrafish, and spiny mice. Can macrophage behavior in our species be beneficially adjusted to improve regenerative capacity? Comparatively simple approaches aiming to shift macrophage polarization from the inflammatory, aggressive M1 polarization to the pro-regenerative M2 polarization appear quite promising in early animal studies, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Much is left to be explored, and articles such as this one only underline the benefits that might be achieved given success.
Acute kidney injury, or AKI, is a devastating condition that develops in two-thirds of critically ill patients, and patients with AKI have a 60 percent risk of dying. In AKI, kidneys can become scarred and can show progressive decline in function, becoming unable to heal their tissue. During development in the