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Dev Biol. 1989 May;133(1):77-82.

Role of interstitial cell migration in generating position-dependent patterns of nerve cell differentiation in Hydra.

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  • 1Department of Developmental Genetics, National Institute of Genetics, Shizuoka, Japan.


The role of interstitial cell migration in the formation of newly differentiated nerve cells was examined during head regeneration in Hydra magnipapillata. When distal tissue was removed from the body of a wild-type strain (105), nerve cell differentiation occurred at a rapid rate during the first 48 hr of regeneration, slowing after this point. Rapid nerve cell differentiation was due primarily to migration of interstitial cells, some of which appeared to be nerve cell precursors, into the regenerating head. The migration decreased considerably after the first 48 hr of regeneration. In reg-16, a mutant strain deficient in head regeneration, no migration of interstitial cells and hence no new nerve cell differentiation were observed in the regenerating tip. However, the interstitial cells of reg-16 were observed to migrate into regenerating tissue of strain 105. These observations suggest that the migration of nerve cell precursors plays an important role when the new nerve net is being established during head regeneration.

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