November 2018 : Understanding animal regeneration, insights from the annelid Platynereis

Regeneration, the ability of some animals to restore a lost or damaged body part is a fascinating process that has intrigued biologists since centuries. The annelid Platynereis dumerilii is one such animals possessing remarkable regeneration abilities. This marine worm is indeed able to reform various parts of its body following amputation, notably its appendages and its posterior part. The latter contains both various differentiated structures and stem cells responsible of the growth of the animals. In a paper published this month in Developmental Biology, Anabelle Planques and members of the “Stem cells, Development and Evolution” team at the Institut Jacques Monod, in collaboration with a researcher form the University of Coruña (Spain), characterized Platynereis caudal regeneration. They have shown that posterior regeneration is a very rapid process, requiring cell proliferation and during which several genes, known to be markers of stem cells in various models, are expressed. The origin of the cells involved in regeneration of missing structures has been partly uncovered, suggesting a major role of dedifferentiation of cells abutting the amputation site. This pioneer study of Platynereis regeneration paves the way to the identification of mechanisms controlling this process in this species and open new perspectives for the understanding of its evolution at the metazoan scale.

To learn more:

Planques, A., Malem, J., Parapar, J., Vervoort, M.@, Gazave, E.@ 2018. Morphological, cellular and molecular characterization of posterior regeneration in the marine annelid Platynereis dumerilii. In press at Developmental Biology.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ydbio.2018.11.004

Contact : Eve Gazave and  Michel Vervoort (“Stem cells, Development and Evolution” team)
tél. : + 33 (0)1 57 27 80 03/81 01.

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