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Trends Neurosci. 2012 Nov;35(11):691-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2012.08.003. Epub 2012 Sep 16.

Nerve dependence in tissue, organ, and appendage regeneration.

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Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology, Division of Life Sciences, University College London, Darwin Building, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK.


Many regeneration contexts require the presence of regenerating nerves as a transient component of the progenitor cell niche. Here we review nerve involvement in regeneration of various structures in vertebrates and invertebrates. Nerves are also implicated as persistent determinants in the niche of certain stem cells in mammals, as well as in Drosophila. We consider our present understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying nerve dependence, including evidence of critical interactions with glia and non-neural cell types. The example of the salamander aneurogenic limb illustrates that developmental interactions between the limb bud and its innervation can be determinative for adult regeneration. These phenomena provide a different perspective on nerve cells to that based on chemical and electrical excitability.

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