Navigation Links
Zebrafish regrow fins using multiple cell types, not identical stem cells
Date:5/16/2011

What does it take to regenerate a limb? Biologists have long thought that organ regeneration in animals like zebrafish and salamanders involved stem cells that can generate any tissue in the body. But new research suggests that multiple cell types are needed to regrow the complete organ, at least in zebrafish.

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have shown that cells capable of regenerating a zebrafish fin do not revert to stem cells that can form any tissue. Instead, the individual cells retain their original identities and only give rise to more of their own kind.

The findings support a recent shift in how biologists understand organ regeneration in organisms such as salamanders and zebrafish. Understanding regeneration in model organisms gives hope that it may one day be possible for amputees to regrow limbs or for heart attack patients to regrow healthy heart muscle.

"Limb regeneration has long captured people's imaginations," says Stephen L. Johnson, PhD, associate professor of genetics at the School of Medicine. "Traditionally, when people have looked at how a limb regenerates, they see a group of cells forming at the amputation site and the cells all look the same. So they've imagined that these cells have lost their identities and can become anything else. Our results show that this is not the case in the zebrafish fin. And there is mounting evidence that this is not the case in the salamander limb."

The study appears online May 16 in Developmental Cell.

When a zebrafish loses its fin, a special group of cells forms on the remaining stump. These cells, which appear identical to one another, regrow the entire limb, complete with all cell types required for a complex organ. This has suggested that these cells may be "pluripotent" stem cells, capable of forming almost every tissue in the body.

To determine if this was indeed the case, Johnson and postdoctoral research associate Shu Tu, PhD, who did this work for her doctoral thesis, used genetic techniques to label individual cells in the stump with a fragment of DNA that makes the cells glow green.

When a cell divides, it copies its DNA so that each daughter cell has a complete set of genetic material. Since Johnson and Tu's label is inserted into the cell's DNA, the cells also duplicate the label and pass it on to each daughter cell. By simply observing which cells glow green, Johnson and Tu could track the subsequent daughter cells and determine what cell types they become.

For example, they saw that when they had glowing skin cells in the stump, only skin cells glowed in the regenerated limb. Likewise, when a nerve cell glowed in the stump, only nerve cells glowed in the regenerated limb. In other words, they saw no evidence that a skin cell glowing in the stump could give rise to a nerve cell glowing later in the fin's development or regeneration.

Using this technique, Johnson and Tu identified nine separate cell lineages present at the end of the stump that contribute to forming the fin's skin, nerves, pigment, blood vessels, bone and immune cells.

Johnson points out possible implications for future regenerative medicine in humans.

"This is evidence that we can't necessarily do regenerative medicine by plopping in generalized stem cells," he says. "The key may be to induce the cells that are already there to grow again. We need to understand and account for every cell lineage and then convince them to play ball together."


'/>"/>

Contact: Julia Evangelou Strait
straitj@wustl.edu
314-286-0141
Washington University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Digital zebrafish embryo provides the first complete developmental blueprint of a vertebrate
2. NIH grants Phylonix Phase II SBIR to develop high-throughput in vivo zebrafish assays
3. AZTI-Tecnalia coordinates a platform promoting the use of zebrafish in scientific research
4. Alzheimer cell death in Zebrafish: Demise of neurons observed live for the first time
5. Zebrafish provide a model for cancerous melanoma in humans
6. Pitt team finds molecule that regulates heart size by using zebrafish screening model
7. Drug-proof zebrafish reveal secrets of addiction
8. Zebrafish swim into drug development
9. The zebrafishs neural circuit prevents it from biting off more than it can chew
10. Zebrafish yield clues to how we process visual information
11. New research tool targets microRNA expression in zebrafish
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Zebrafish regrow fins using multiple cell types, not identical stem cells
(Date:3/23/2017)... The report "Gesture Recognition and Touchless Sensing Market by Technology (Touch-based ... to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to be worth USD ... 2022. Continue Reading ... ... ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... Calif. , March 21, 2017 ... analytics company serving law enforcement agencies, announced today the ... as director of public safety business development. ... diversified law enforcement experience, including a focus on the ... In his most recent position, Mr. Sheridan served as ...
(Date:3/13/2017)... -- Future of security: Biometric Face Matching software  ... ... Face Matching enables to match face pictures against each other or against large ... Identification Systems) ... is the fastest software for biometric Face Matching on the market. The speed ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 22, 2017 Oramed Pharmaceuticals ... www.oramed.com ), a clinical-stage ... drug delivery systems, announced today that Dr. ... deliver a presentation titled, "Oral Insulin for Diabetes ... Cambridge Healthtech Institute,s Oligonucleotide and Peptide Therapeutics (OPT) Boston Conference ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... New York , March 22, 2017 ... is largely fragmented, states a research report by Transparency ... S.A., Pfizer Inc., Amgen Inc., and AbbVie Inc., accounted ... in 2015. The prominent players in this market are ... expand their product portfolio, which is likely to lead ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... /PRNewswire/ - FACIT announced a seed stage investment ... start-up created by FACIT focused on developing a ... with non-dilutive capital, achieves a targeted $3.0M financing ... Propellon to accelerate the nomination of a candidate ... entering a strategic partnership for clinical trials in ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 22, 2017   VWR ... provider of product and service solutions to ... it has acquired EPL Archives, Inc., an ... across the entire regulated product research, development ... document storage and ancillary services. EPL Archives ...
Breaking Biology Technology: