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Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2002 Oct;13(5):335-43.

Inducing cellular dedifferentiation: a potential method for enhancing endogenous regeneration in mammals.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Cardiology, University of Utah Health Sciences Center, Wintrobe Building, Room 657A, 26 N. 1900 E., Salt Lake City, UT 84132, USA.


Salamanders have the remarkable ability to regenerate lost body parts and injured organs. This regenerative ability requires fully-differentiated cells in the vicinity of the injury to dedifferentiate, proliferate, and then redifferentiate to form the specialized cells that comprise the regenerated structure or organ. The dedifferentiation stage plays a crucial role in the regenerative response and distinguishes the salamander from other vertebrates with more limited regenerative abilities. Recently, several investigators have shown that certain mammalian cell types can be induced to dedifferentiate to progenitor cells when stimulated with the appropriate signals. This discovery opens the possibility that researchers might one day enhance the endogenous regenerative capacity of mammals by inducing cellular dedifferentiation in vivo.

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