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Dev Biol. 1986 Jul;116(1):51-8.

Growth regulation of the interstitial cell population in hydra. III. Interstitial cell density does not control stem cell proliferation.


The interstitial cells of hydra contain a stem cell population which produces several classes of differentiated cell types. A model has been proposed which governs the growth rate of the interstitial cell population. This model, based on the density of interstitial cells in the tissue, makes specific predictions about the relationships among this density, the proportion of stem cells in the interstitial cell population, the growth rate of the interstitial cell population, and the amount of nematocyte differentiation. Hydroxyurea treatments were used to experimentally reduce interstitial cell numbers, and the validity of these expected correlations was tested. The results demonstrate that the predictions of the interstitial cell density model were not upheld. Furthermore, the findings suggest that the interstitial cells are a heterogeneous population, containing some cells which are no longer stem cells but which do retain a limited capacity for proliferation. In the following paper (S. Heimfeld and H.R. Bode, 1986, Dev. Biol. 115, 59-68) we have proposed an alternative mechanism to explain the observed correlations, which incorporates this heterogeneity into amplification divisions of interstitial cells already committed to differentiation.

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