Lizards regenerate perfect tail for the first time in 250 million years with the help of stem cells

The mourning gecko can regenerate its tail, but the exchange is an incomplete copy of the original. Credit: Lozito Lab

The lizard regenerates the amputated tail, making the lost appendages closest to humans capable of regenerating. However, instead of the original tail, which contains the spine and nerves, the replacement structure is an incomplete cartilage canal. Now, for the first time, a USC-led study from Nature Communications explains how stem cells can help lizards regenerate better tails.

“This is one of the only cases in which stem cell-based therapies in reptiles, birds and mammals have significantly improved appendage regeneration, demonstrating efforts to improve human wound healing.” , Says the corresponding author of the study, Thomas.Associate Professor of Orthopedics and Stem Cells, Logito Cell biology When Regenerative medicine At the USC Keck School of Medicine.

These newly improved lizard tails show what is known as the “dorsoventral pattern”. That is, there is skeletal and nervous tissue on the upper or dorsal side and cartilage tissue on the lower or ventral side.

“The lizards have been around for over 250 million years, and all the while, no lizard has ever regrown its tail with a dorsoventral pattern,” Lozito said. “In my lab, I created the first regenerated lizard tail with a patterned skeleton.”

To achieve this, a team of scientists from the USC and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine analyzed how lizard tails form during adult regeneration. Embryogenesis.. In both cases Neural stem cells Or NSC- Stem cells Build the nervous system — plays a central role.

Adult NSC Molecular signal It blocks skeletal and nerve formation, promotes cartilage growth, and effectively “ventralizes” both sides of the tail. This results in a cartilage canal typical of the regenerated tail.

Even in the absence of this ventral signal, adult NSCs are unable to generate new neural tissue on the dorsal side of the tail.

In contrast, the embryonic NSC produces this “ventralization” signal only in the cartilage area below or ventral to the tail. On the other hand, in the absence of this signal, the upper or dorsal side develops skeletal and nervous tissue. Therefore, the tail acquires a complex dorsoventral pattern characteristic of the appendages of the original embryo.

However, when embryonic NSCs are transplanted into adult tail stumps, they respond to ventralization signals and are unable to develop into the dorsal structure.

To overcome these obstacles, Lozito’s team used gene editing tools to surgically transplant these cells into adult tail stumps without reacting embryonic NSCs to ventral signals and complete. Brought about the regeneration of the tail.

“This study provided us with essential practices on how to improve the regenerative capacity of living organisms,” Logito said. “Perfect imperfect regenerated lizards tail It provides a blueprint for improving healing of wounds that do not regenerate naturally, such as amputated human limbs and spinal cord. Thus, we hope that our lizard research will lead to medical advances in the treatment of difficult-to-heal injuries. ”

Neural stem cells are key to tail regrowth

For more information:
Thomas P. Lozito et al, using genetically edited embryonic neural stem cells to introduce a dorsoventral pattern into the tail of an adult regenerating lizard, Nature Communications (2021). DOI: 10.1038 / s41467-021-26321-9

Quote: With the help of stem cells, the lizard was acquired from on October 14, 2021 250 million years (October 2021) Play the perfect tail for the first time in 14th)-lizard-regenerates.html

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Lizards regenerate perfect tail for the first time in 250 million years with the help of stem cells

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