Stem Cells and ßλατημa Cells
Panagiotis A. Tsonis.
Recently much effort has resulted in papers on how stem cells can be generated from adult tissues in mice, but the salamanders do this routinely. Salamanders can regenerate most of their body parts, such as limbs, eyes, jaw, brain (and spinal cord), heart, etc. Regeneration in salamanders starts by dedifferentiation of the terminally differentiated tissues at the site of injury. The dedifferentiated cells can then differentiate to reconstitute the lost tissues. This transdifferentiation in an adult animal is unprecedented among vertebrates and does not involve recruitment of stem cells. One of the ideas is that such reprogramming of terminally differentiated cells might involve mechanisms that are similar to the maintenance of embryonic stem cells. In the stem cell field much emphasis has been recently given to the reprogramming of adult cells (such as skin fibroblasts) to revert to ES or pluripotent stem cells. It is our conviction that generation of dedifferentiated cells in salamanders and stem cells, such as the ones seen in repair in mammals share molecular signatures. This mini review will discuss these issues and ideas that could unite the stem cell biology with the classical regeneration models.
Keywords: Regeneration, stem cells, transdifferentiation, newt, limb regeneration, blastema
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