Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


A Master Mechanism for Regeneration?

Biologists long have marveled at the ability of some animals to re-grow lost body parts. Newts, for example, can lose a leg and grow a new one identical to the original. Zebrafish can re-grow fins.

These animals and others also can repair damaged heart tissue and injured structures in the eye. In contrast, humans have only rudimentary regenerative abilities, so scientists hoping eventually to develop ways of repairing or replacing damaged body parts are keenly interested in understanding in detail how the process of regeneration works.

Using zebrafish as a model, researchers at the University of Michigan have found that some of the same genes underlie the process in different types of tissues. Genes involved in fin regeneration and heart repair are also required for rebuilding damaged light receptors in the eye, they found, suggesting that a common molecular mechanism guides the process, no matter what body part is damaged.

Zhao Qin a graduate student in the department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology will present the research Oct. 19 at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Chicago. Her coauthors on the paper, which also was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, are professor and chair Pamela Raymond and research laboratory specialist Linda Barthel.

The researchers briefly exposed zebrafish to intense light, which destroys the light receptors in their eyes, just as staring into the sun harms human eyes. But unlike humans, who remain blinded if the damage is severe enough, zebrafish repair the damage with new nerve cells (neurons).

Where do those new cells come from? The U-M researchers suspected they develop from cells in the retina called Müller glia, known to have the ability to give rise to nerve cells, and in previous work another graduate student in Raymond's lab confirmed the suspicion.

In the current work, Qin wanted to find what prompts Müller glia to start the regeneration process. To get at the question, she looked at patterns of gene expression in Müller glia from damaged, regenerating zebrafish retinas and from undamaged zebrafish retinas to see which genes are expressed differently in damaged and undamaged retinas.

"Of course I found a lot of genes---a total of 953," Qin said, "but two were of particular interest." The two genes, hspd1 and mps1, had been found in other studies to be required for fin and heart regeneration in zebrafish, and Qin's work showed that they also were switched on in Müller glia from damaged zebrafish retinas.

"This suggests," Raymond said, "that, although we don't fully understand it yet, there might be a bigger molecular program, involving not just these two genes but a number of cooperating genes that are required for injury-triggered regeneration."

The researchers received funding from the National Institutes of Health.

For more information:

Zhao Qin:§ionOne=grad§ionTwo=graddir§ionThree=gradprofile&name=


Pamela Raymond:§ionOne=faculty§ionTwo=directory§ionThree=


Linda Barthel:§ionOne=staff§ionTwo=staffresearchdir§ionThree=


Society for Neuroscience:

"Genetic evidence for shared mechanisms of epimorphic regeneration in zebrafish:"

Nancy Ross-Flanigan | Newswise Science News
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht ‘Farming’ bacteria to boost growth in the oceans
24.10.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für marine Mikrobiologie

nachricht Calcium Induces Chronic Lung Infections
24.10.2016 | Universität Basel

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Oasis of life in the ice-covered central Arctic

24.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

‘Farming’ bacteria to boost growth in the oceans

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

24.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>