Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Advantage: Youth – Fin Regenerative Capability Abates During Aging

01.07.2015

Regenerative processes are the reason why wounds can heal and injured tissues can regrow. Some flatworms, salamanders and fishes even have the ability to completely rebuild whole bodily parts. In contrast, the regenerative capability of humans is quite limited and decreases upon aging.

Researchers from the Leibniz Institute for Age Research (FLI) in Jena, Germany now found that also in the short-lived killifish Nothobranchius furzeri, the regenerative capability to rebuild its caudal fin heavily lessens in old age.


Turquois killifish is able to fully regenerate injured caudal fins – but only in young age.

[Source: Nils Hartmann / FLI]

Many animals are able to completely rebuild functional, identical and complex bodily parts after injury or loss. Flatworms for example have the astonishing capability to rebuild a complete organism from only one part of their tail or head. Zebrafish can renew their caudal fins, and newts may rebuild whole legs within few months.

However, these are self-healing powers humans can only dream of. Only few tissues and organs in the human body are able to regenerate continuously, as the intestinal mucosa, the blood, the skeletal muscle, the liver or skin. With growing age, these limited capabilities even further diminish. It is in the focus of many current research projects to answer why and how this abatement occurs in age.

Researchers from the Leibniz Institute for Age Research – Fritz Lipmann Institute (FLI) in Jena, Germany now – for the first time – observed the effects of aging on the regenerative capability of turquois killifish (Nothobranchius furzeri) across its whole lifespan. They studied how aging influences the caudal fin regeneration and which cells are responsible for aging-induced alterations of regenerative capacities of the fish. The study results were published in the renowned journal “Aging Cell”.

“To analyze regenerative processes, the rebuilding of caudal fins is one of the most common models”, Prof. Dr. Christoph Englert, group leader at FLI, explains. “For our studies, we work with N. furzeri, which is the most short-lived vertebrate, which can be kept in a laboratory environment. Due to its lifespan of not more than 14 months, we decided to establish N. furzeri as new animal model for biomedical research on aging.” For the present study, cohorts of male fish aged 8, 20, 36, and 50-60 weeks were employed.

Regeneration in older age

“With growing age, we could observe a continuous abatement of the regenerative capability of the animals“, Dr. Nils Hartmann, researcher in Englert’s laboratory at FLI, explains. “While younger fish were able to fully renew their fin within four weeks, very old fish could in the end only rebuild half of it”. Already after three days, these differences in the rates of fin regrowth very statistically significant. “The results highlight the huge regenerative advantage younger fishes have compared to the elderly.”

What we can learn from the fish

In younger fin tissues, a high amount of proliferating cells were present, whereas in older fish, more dying (apoptotic) cells were found. The higher number of proliferating cells in younger fish results in a more active cell division, which could be the reason for the age-dependent regenerative differences.

These findings help to better understand the regenerative processes in vertebrates and to, eventually, answer the question why humans have such a limited regenerative capability. Because: “Although the caudal fin seems to have little in common with human tissues, it consists of many cell types relevant for the human body: bone, neurons, muscles, skin and connective tissue. Of course, research is still in the beginning. But through the establishment of this regeneration model, we will be able to learn more about cells and factors responsible for the abating regeneration in age. With N. furzeri, we are hopefully able to someday explain and improve the regenerative capability of humans”, the researchers sum up.

Publication
Wendler S, Hartmann N, Hoppe B, Englert C. Age-dependent decline in fin regenerative capacity in the short-lived fish Nothobranchius furzeri. Aging Cell 2015. doi: 10.1111/acel.12367.


Background information

The Leibniz Institute for Age Research – Fritz Lipmann Institute (FLI) is the first German research organization dedicated to biomedical aging research since 2004. More than 330 members from over 30 nations explore the molecular mechanisms underlying aging processes and age-associated diseases. For more information, please visit http://www.fli-leibniz.de.

The Leibniz Association connects 89 independent research institutions that range in focus from the natural, engineering and environmental sciences via economics, spatial and social sciences to the humanities. Leibniz Institutes address issues of social, economic and ecological relevance. They conduct knowledge-driven and applied basic research, maintain scientific infrastructure and provide research-based services. The Leibniz Association identifies focus areas for knowledge transfer to policy-makers, academia, business and the public. Leibniz Institutes collaborate intensively with universities – in the form of “WissenschaftsCampi” (thematic partnerships between university and non-university research institutes), for example – as well as with industry and other partners at home and abroad. They are subject to an independent evaluation procedure that is unparalleled in its transparency. Due to the institutes’ importance for the country as a whole, they are funded jointly by the Federation and the Länder, employing some 18,100 individuals, including 9,200 researchers. The entire budget of all the institutes is approximately 1.64 billion EUR. See http://www.leibniz-association.eu for more information.

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.fli-leibniz.de - Website Leibniz Institute for Age Research - Fritz Lipmann Institute (FLI) Jena

Dr. Kerstin Wagner | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed
18.01.2017 | American Chemical Society

nachricht 127 at one blow...
18.01.2017 | Stiftung Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig, Leibniz-Institut für Biodiversität der Tiere

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>