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Dev Biol. 2007 Mar 15;303(2):421-33. Epub 2006 Dec 9.

Why polyps regenerate and we don't: towards a cellular and molecular framework for Hydra regeneration.

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Zoological Institute, Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel, Olshausenstrasse 40, 24098 Kiel, Germany.


The basis for Hydra's enormous regeneration capacity is the "stem cellness" of its epithelium which continuously undergoes self-renewing mitotic divisions and also has the option to follow differentiation pathways. Now, emerging molecular tools have shed light on the molecular processes controlling these pathways. In this review I discuss how the modular tissue architecture may allow continuous replacement of cells in Hydra. I also describe the discovery and regulation of factors controlling the transition from self-renewing epithelial stem cells to differentiated cells.

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