Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Regenerative Medicine Advance: Frog Tadpole Artificially Induced To Re-grow Its Tail

Date:
March 1, 2007
Source:
Forsyth Institute
Summary:
Scientists at Forsyth may have moved one step closer to regenerating human spinal cord tissue by artificially inducing a frog tadpole to re-grow its tail at a stage in its development when it is normally impossible. Using a variety of methods including a kind of gene therapy, the scientists altered the electrical properties of cells thus inducing regeneration. This discovery may provide clues about how bioelectricity can be used to help humans regenerate.

Using a variety of methods including a kind of gene therapy, the scientists altered the electrical properties of cells thus inducing regeneration. This discovery may provide clues about how bioelectricity can be used to help humans regenerate. (Credit: Image courtesy of Forsyth Institute)
Credit: Image courtesy of Forsyth Institute

Scientists at Forsyth may have moved one step closer to regenerating human spinal cord tissue by artificially inducing a frog tadpole to re-grow its tail at a stage in its development when it is normally impossible. Using a variety of methods including a kind of gene therapy, the scientists altered the electrical properties of cells thus inducing regeneration. This discovery may provide clues about how bioelectricity can be used to help humans regenerate.

Related Articles


This study, for the first time, gave scientists a direct glimpse of the source of natural electric fields that are crucial for regeneration, as well as revealing how these are produced. In addition, the findings provide the first detailed mechanistic synthesis of bioelectrical, molecular-genetic, and cell-biological events underlying the regeneration of a complex vertebrate structure that includes skin, muscle, vasculature and critically spinal cord. Although the Xenopus (frog) tadpole sometimes has the ability to re-grow its tail, there are specific times during its development that regeneration does not take place (much as human children lose the ability to regenerate finger-tips after 7 years of age). During the Forsyth study, the activity of a yeast proton pump (which produces H+ ion flow and thus sets up regions of higher and lower pH) triggered the regeneration of the frog's tail during the normally quiescent time.

This research will be published in the April issue of Development and will appear online on February 28, 2007.

According to the publication's first author, Dany Adams, Ph.D., Assistant Research Investigator at the Forsyth Institute, applied electric fields have long been known to enhance regeneration in amphibia, and in fact have led to clinical trials in human patients. "However, the molecular sources of relevant currents and the mechanisms underlying their control have remained poorly understood," said Adams. "To truly make strides in regenerative medicine, we need to understand the innate components that underlie bioelectrical events during normal development and regeneration. Our ability to stop regeneration by blocking a particular H+ pump and to induce regeneration when it is normally absent, means we have found at least one critical component."

The research team, led by Michael Levin, Ph.D., Director of the Forsyth Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology has been using the Xenopus tadpole to study regeneration because it provides an opportunity to see how much can be done with non-embryonic (somatic) cells during regeneration, and it is a perfect model system in which to understand how movement of electric charges leads to the ability to re-grow a fully functioning tail. Furthermore, said Dr. Levin, tail regeneration in Xenopus is more likely to be similar to tissue renewal in human beings than some other regenerative model systems. The Forsyth scientists previously studied the role that apoptosis, a process of programmed cell death in multi-cellular organisms, plays in regeneration.

Michael Levin, PhD. is an Associate Member of the Staff in The Forsyth Institute Department of Cytokine Biology and the Director of the Forsyth Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology. Through experimental approaches and mathematical modeling, Dr. Levin and his team examine the processes governing large-scale pattern formation and biological information storage during animal embryogenesis. The lab investigates mechanisms of signaling between cells and tissues that allows a living system to reliably generate and maintain a complex morphology. The Levin team studies these processes in the context of embryonic development and regeneration, with a particular focus on the biophysics of cell behavior.

The Forsyth Institute is the world's leading independent organization dedicated to scientific research and education in oral, craniofacial and related biomedical sciences.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Forsyth Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Forsyth Institute. "Regenerative Medicine Advance: Frog Tadpole Artificially Induced To Re-grow Its Tail." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 March 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070228123336.htm>.
Forsyth Institute. (2007, March 1). Regenerative Medicine Advance: Frog Tadpole Artificially Induced To Re-grow Its Tail. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070228123336.htm
Forsyth Institute. "Regenerative Medicine Advance: Frog Tadpole Artificially Induced To Re-grow Its Tail." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070228123336.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins