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BMC Biol. 2019 Oct 11;17(1):80. doi: 10.1186/s12915-019-0695-8.

Regeneration in the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi occurs in the absence of a blastema, requires cell division, and is temporally separable from wound healing.

Author information

1
The Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience, 9505 N, Ocean Shore Blvd, St. Augustine, FL, 32080-8610, USA.
2
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, 32611, USA.
3
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, 32611, USA.
4
The Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience, 9505 N, Ocean Shore Blvd, St. Augustine, FL, 32080-8610, USA. mqmartin@whitney.ufl.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The ability to regenerate is a widely distributed but highly variable trait among metazoans. A variety of modes of regeneration has been described for different organisms; however, many questions regarding the origin and evolution of these strategies remain unanswered. Most species of ctenophore (or "comb jellies"), a clade of marine animals that branch off at the base of the animal tree of life, possess an outstanding capacity to regenerate. However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying this ability are unknown. We have used the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi as a system to study wound healing and adult regeneration and provide some first-time insights of the cellular mechanisms involved in the regeneration of one of the most ancient extant group of multicellular animals.

RESULTS:

We show that cell proliferation is activated at the wound site and is indispensable for whole-body regeneration. Wound healing occurs normally in the absence of cell proliferation forming a scar-less wound epithelium. No blastema-like structure is generated at the cut site, and pulse-chase experiments and surgical intervention show that cells originating in the main regions of cell proliferation (the tentacle bulbs) do not seem to contribute to the formation of new structures after surgical challenge, suggesting a local source of cells during regeneration. While exposure to cell-proliferation blocking treatment inhibits regeneration, the ability to regenerate is recovered when the treatment ends (days after the original cut), suggesting that ctenophore regenerative capabilities are constantly ready to be triggered and they are somehow separable of the wound healing process.

CONCLUSIONS:

Ctenophore regeneration takes place through a process of cell proliferation-dependent non-blastemal-like regeneration and is temporally separable of the wound healing process. We propose that undifferentiated cells assume the correct location of missing structures and differentiate in place. The remarkable ability to replace missing tissue, the many favorable experimental features (e.g., optical clarity, high fecundity, rapid regenerative performance, stereotyped cell lineage, sequenced genome), and the early branching phylogenetic position in the animal tree, all point to the emergence of ctenophores as a new model system to study the evolution of animal regeneration.

KEYWORDS:

Blastema; Ctenophore; Dedifferentiation; Mnemiopsis leidyi; Regeneration; Stem cells; Wound epidermis; Wound healing

PMID:
31604443
DOI:
10.1186/s12915-019-0695-8
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