Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

To grow or not to grow: A step forward in adult vertebrate tissue regeneration

Date:
March 27, 2014
Source:
Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC)
Summary:
The reason why some animals can regenerate tissues after severe organ loss or amputation while others, such as humans, cannot renew some structures has always intrigued scientists. In a study, a research group provided new clues to solve this central question by investigating regeneration in an adult vertebrate model: the zebrafish.

The regeneration of the zebrafish's fin requires V-ATPase enzyme (area marked in blue).
Credit: Joaquin Rodríguez-Léon (IGC).

The reason why some animals can regenerate tissues after severe organ loss or amputation while others, such as humans, cannot renew some structures has always intrigued scientists. In a study now published in PLOS ONE, a research group from Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC, Portugal) led by Joaquín Rodríguez León provided new clues to solve this central question by investigating regeneration in an adult vertebrate model: the zebrafish.

Related Articles


It was known that zebrafish is able to regenerate organs, and that electrical currents may play a role in this process, but the exact mechanisms are still unclear. Using both biophysical and molecular approaches, the researchers have shown, for the first time, that zebrafish regenerates its caudal fin by a process that involves a specific channel in the cell membrane, called V-ATPase, that pumps hydrogen ions (H+) out of the cells generating an electrical current. Understanding these mechanisms underlying adult tissue regeneration may be instrumental for the development of new therapeutic strategies, both in regenerative and developmental medicine.

Cell regeneration is a biological feature of all living organisms with an important role in growth, wound healing, tissue repair and similar biological functions. Scientists have been investigating the molecular aspects that underline regeneration aiming to understand why some animals have the ability to regrow entire tissue structures after amputation or injury whereas humans can just regenerate few organs, such as the liver or the skin. The classical approach has been to look at genes and proteins, and only more recently, the relevance of bioelectric signals began to be investigated. Researchers from Joaquín Rodríguez León's laboratory set out to analyze the contribution of different ion fluxes in the cell membrane, either inwards or outwards, during regeneration in the zebrafish caudal fin. They discovered that only the transport of charged atoms of hydrogen (H+) played a role in the regenerative process.

The research team observed that this transport occurred via V-ATPase enzyme, that forms a channel in the cell membrane and pumps H+ out of the cell. The researchers discovered that the activity of this electric signal is necessary in different aspects of normal regeneration, namely for the expression of crucial genes, formation of a mass of cells capable of growth and regenerate, and proper tissue innervation. The researchers found that this electric current was also important to coordinate other proteins that could establish a positional memory to ensure the correct regeneration of the injured tissue.

Joaquín Rodríguez-León says: "Scientists use different strategies to unveil the mechanisms behind regeneration to apply this knowledge in the future clinical practice. Some teams are studying the potential of stem cells and others try to understand why some animals can regenerate. Our team contributes to understand how the cellular machinery, that is similar in all vertebrates, can regenerate a structure in an animal. Particular cellular machinery needs to be "switched on" and that is what we try to understand. Using the zebrafish as a model, we have found that an essential feature of cells, ion dynamics, contributes to the regeneration of limbs. Specifically, we have found that H+ ions (protons) actively contribute to create an electric current that is needed for proper regeneration."

This research was developed in collaboration with investigators from Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Centro de Estudos de Doenças Crónicas and Champalimaud Foundation. Joaquín Rodríguez-León is a Principal Investigator at the IGC and Faculdade de Medicina, Universidad de Extremadura (Spain). This research was funded by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT; Portugal) and European Union.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Joana Monteiro, Rita Aires, Jörg D. Becker, António Jacinto, Ana C. Certal, Joaquín Rodríguez-León. V-ATPase Proton Pumping Activity Is Required for Adult Zebrafish Appendage Regeneration. PLoS ONE, 2014; 9 (3): e92594 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0092594

Cite This Page:

Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC). "To grow or not to grow: A step forward in adult vertebrate tissue regeneration." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140327123335.htm>.
Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC). (2014, March 27). To grow or not to grow: A step forward in adult vertebrate tissue regeneration. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140327123335.htm
Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC). "To grow or not to grow: A step forward in adult vertebrate tissue regeneration." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140327123335.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Melafind: Spotting Melanoma Without a Biopsy

Melafind: Spotting Melanoma Without a Biopsy

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) — The MelaFind device is a pain-free way to check suspicious moles for melanoma, without the need for a biopsy. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Battling Multiple Myeloma

Battling Multiple Myeloma

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) — The answer isn’t always found in new drugs – repurposing an ‘old’ drug that could mean better multiple myeloma treatment, and hope. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chronic Inflammation and Prostate Cancer

Chronic Inflammation and Prostate Cancer

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) — New information that is linking chronic inflammation in the prostate and prostate cancer, which may help doctors and patients prevent cancer in the future. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sickle Cell: Stopping Kids’ Silent Strokes

Sickle Cell: Stopping Kids’ Silent Strokes

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) — Blood transfusions are proving crucial to young sickle cell patients by helping prevent strokes, even when there is no outward sign of brain injury. Video provided by Ivanhoe
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

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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