Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Grafted limb cells acquire molecular 'fingerprint' of new location

Date:
October 24, 2013
Source:
University of California - Irvine
Summary:
Cells triggering tissue regeneration that are taken from one limb and grafted onto another acquire the molecular "fingerprint," or identity, of their new location, developmental biologists have discovered.

Cells triggering tissue regeneration that are taken from one limb and grafted onto another acquire the molecular "fingerprint," or identity, of their new location, UC Irvine developmental biologists have discovered.

The findings provide a better understanding of how grafted tissue changes its identity to match the host tissue environment during the process of limb regeneration and bring scientists closer to establishing regenerative therapies for humans. The results also challenge the conventional assumption in regeneration biology that cellular properties are predetermined.

By examining cells from blastema tissue in salamanders -- amphibians that can regrow lost limbs -- the researchers learned that grafted tissue does not spur growth of structures consistent with the region of the limb it came from, but rather it transforms into the cell signature of the limb region it's been grafted onto. This ability of cells to alter identity from the old location to the new location is called positional plasticity.

"This work provides the first piece of molecular evidence supporting the idea that early- and late-stage blastema cells receive information about the 'blueprint' of the missing limb from the host site," said Catherine D. McCusker, postdoctoral fellow in developmental & cell biology and lead author on the study.

The blastema is a group of cells that accumulate at the site of a severed limb in organisms such as salamanders and re-create the missing appendage. It's formed when regenerating nerve fibers from the limb stump interact with thin skin that covers the surface of the wound.

This interaction attracts cells from the stump tissue that undergo a process called dedifferentiation, in which the cells revert to a more embryonic state. Once a blueprint of the missing limb structures is established in the blastema, these cells gradually differentiate into the replacement limb.

In her study, McCusker found that signals from nerve fibers played a crucial role in sustaining the cells' ability to change their identity to suit a new environment throughout the course of regeneration. She hypothesizes that it's important for the nerve fibers to maintain positional plasticity in the blastema until a complete blueprint of the new limb is formulated.

These findings also have potential implications in cancer biology, as cancer cells too are strongly influenced by the surrounding tissue environment.

"Our study shows that the blueprint, which drives the behavior of cells, can be manipulated," McCusker noted. "Thus, understanding how differing environments affect blastema cell behavior will provide valuable insight into how to control the behavior of cancer cells."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Irvine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Catherine D. McCusker, David M. Gardiner. Positional Information Is Reprogrammed in Blastema Cells of the Regenerating Limb of the Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (9): e77064 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0077064

Cite This Page:

University of California - Irvine. "Grafted limb cells acquire molecular 'fingerprint' of new location." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131024141430.htm>.
University of California - Irvine. (2013, October 24). Grafted limb cells acquire molecular 'fingerprint' of new location. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131024141430.htm
University of California - Irvine. "Grafted limb cells acquire molecular 'fingerprint' of new location." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131024141430.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

AFP (Aug. 21, 2014) Two American missionaries who were sickened with Ebola while working in Liberia and were treated with an experimental drug are doing better and have left the hospital, doctors say on August 21, 2014. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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