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Regeneration newly defined – Limbs regrow from cells with restricted potential

Regeneration newly defined – Limbs regrow from cells with restricted potential

The Mexican salamander Axolotl has the remarkable ability that is lost for humans: limbs, organs, and even parts of the brain regenerate completely and fully functional. Until now, it was assumed that during regeneration, tissue of limbs dedifferentiates in pluripotent all-rounder and that from these all cells regrow. In her study in the latest issue of Nature, Prof. Elly Tanaka from the CRTD re-examined the question of the developmental potential of the cells and made the surprising discovery that each tissue produces progenitor cells with restricted potential. The outcome of the study has important implications for regenerative medicine. The results make clear that the complex phenomena of regeneration can be achieved without complete dedifferentiation of the cells in a pluripotent state. Hence, many obscurities regarding the developmental potential are solved. In further studies, Prof. Tanaka will examine different genes that are important for regeneration.

Press Release, German (pdf)

 

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