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A CNIO team discovers that senescence also plays a role in embryo development
Date:11/14/2013

ns of it is a tube that ends up forming the vas deferens and the epididymis in the testicles and it participates in the formation of the vagina. The endolymphatic sac is an important structure of the inner ear. The CRG researchers decided to focus on the formation of the brain and the fingers.

Regarding the genes involved in programmed senescence, it turns out that they are the same for the mesonephros and for the endolymphatic sac: "It is telling that two independent developmental processes share not only the same critical effector but also the same regulatory routes", say the authors in their article in Cell.

The gene that activates the process, in the two structures analysed, and in both mouse and human embryos, is called p21. Thus, when p21 cannot act there is no senescence and, despite partial compensation of this defect by other mechanisms, it is possible to detect problems in the formation of the vagina, for example.

What happens in embryonic tissues once programmed senescence has switched off the unwanted cells? It is then the turn of the macrophages, cells of the defence-system that eliminate useless cells, thus remodelling the tissue.

The authors consider this to be a first study that opens up new horizons. Soon, they say, programmed senescence will be detected in many other developmental processes.


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Contact: Nuria Noriega
comunicacion@cnio.es
Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncologicas (CNIO)
Source:Eurekalert

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