The Evolution of Regeneration

A special issue of Biology (ISSN 2079-7737). This special issue belongs to the section "Zoology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 April 2023) | Viewed by 9169

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Zoology, University of Innsbruck, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
Interests: flatworm taxonomy; systematics; phylogeny; development; regeneration

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The evolution of regeneration is a neglected topic in regeneration research, which focuses on unraveling genetic pathways and gene regulatory networks involved in and required for regeneration. While this approach may be the best way to understand the mechanics of regeneration in an organism, a comparative approach can provide additional insights, especially regarding the old question "why can some animals regenerate, while others can’t?".

Comparative regeneration research usually involves studying more or less closely related organisms, depending on the variability of regeneration capacity within a given taxon. Often, regeneration research is dealing with only one or two representatives of a phylum, which may not be representative for the whole phylum at all. For example, flatworms are known for their powers of regeneration, although only a small group of flatworms is able to regenerate a head.

This Special Issue is open for two broad categories of research and review articles dealing with the evolution of regeneration: first, with descriptive studies exploring the regeneration of hitherto unstudied or poorly studied organisms, and second, with studies comparing regeneration between two or more organisms.

Dr. Bernhard Egger
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • regeneration
  • evolution
  • evoregen
  • stem cells
  • blastema
  • non-model organisms

Published Papers (4 papers)

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16 pages, 2640 KiB  
Article
Morphogenic Effect of Exogenous Glucocorticoid Hormones in the Girardia tigrina Planarian (Turbellaria, Tricladida)
by Artem Ermakov, Natalia Kudykina, Arina Bykova and Ulyana Tkacheva
Biology 2023, 12(2), 292; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020292 - 11 Feb 2023
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Abstract
We have studied the effect of two glucocorticoid hormones: hydrocortisone and its synthetic analogue methylprednisolone on the regeneration activity of head and tail blastema of the Girardia tigrina planarian. The regeneration activity was studied in head and tail blastema formed after resection by [...] Read more.
We have studied the effect of two glucocorticoid hormones: hydrocortisone and its synthetic analogue methylprednisolone on the regeneration activity of head and tail blastema of the Girardia tigrina planarian. The regeneration activity was studied in head and tail blastema formed after resection by means of lifetime computer morphometry and immunohistochemical labeling of neoblasts. The search for orthologous proteins—glucocorticoid receptors (hydrocortisone) was performed using the SmedGD database of the Schmidtea mediterranea planarian. The results indicate that both hormones influence the recovery rate of the regenerating head and tail blastema. The worms with regenerating tail blastema have less sensitivity to the hormones’ treatment compared to the ones with regenerating head blastema. Hydrocortisone at a high concentration (10−3 M) suppressed the regeneration rate, while stimulating it at lower concentrations (10−4–10−6 M). The same concentrations of methylprednisolone inhibited the regeneration of head blastema, but did not affect the tail blastema regeneration. The two hormones acted differently: while hydrocortisone stimulated the proliferation of neoblasts in the periwound region, methylprednisolone reduced the mitotic activity, mainly on the tail zone furthest from the wound surface. We suggest that exogenous glucocorticoids can influence endogenous mechanisms of hormone-dependent regeneration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Evolution of Regeneration)
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28 pages, 3575 KiB  
Article
Do Not Lose Your Head over the Unequal Regeneration Capacity in Prolecithophoran Flatworms
by Alexandra L. Grosbusch, Philip Bertemes, Bob Kauffmann, Clemens Gotsis and Bernhard Egger
Biology 2022, 11(11), 1588; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11111588 - 28 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2160
Abstract
One of the central questions in studying the evolution of regeneration in flatworms remains whether the ancestral flatworm was able to regenerate all body parts, including the head. If so, this ability was subsequently lost in most existent flatworms. The alternative hypothesis is [...] Read more.
One of the central questions in studying the evolution of regeneration in flatworms remains whether the ancestral flatworm was able to regenerate all body parts, including the head. If so, this ability was subsequently lost in most existent flatworms. The alternative hypothesis is that head regeneration has evolved within flatworms, possibly several times independently. In the well-studied flatworm taxon Tricladida (planarians), most species are able to regenerate a head. Little is known about the regeneration capacity of the closest relatives of Tricladida: Fecampiida and Prolecithophora. Here, we analysed the regeneration capacity of three prolecithophoran families: Pseudostomidae, Plagiostomidae, and Protomonotresidae. The regeneration capacity of prolecithophorans varies considerably between families, which is likely related to the remaining body size of the regenerates. While all studied prolecithophoran species were able to regenerate a tail-shaped posterior end, only some Pseudostomidae could regenerate a part of the pharynx and pharynx pouch. Some Plagiostomidae could regenerate a head including the brain and eyes, provided the roots of the brain were present. The broad spectrum of regeneration capacity in Prolecithophora suggests that head regeneration capacity is not an apomorphy of Adiaphanida. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Evolution of Regeneration)
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12 pages, 1749 KiB  
Article
Neurogenesis during Brittle Star Arm Regeneration Is Characterised by a Conserved Set of Key Developmental Genes
by Anna Czarkwiani, Jack Taylor and Paola Oliveri
Biology 2022, 11(9), 1360; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11091360 - 16 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2243
Abstract
Neural regeneration is very limited in humans but extremely efficient in echinoderms. The brittle star Amphiura filiformis can regenerate both components of its central nervous system as well as the peripheral system, and understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying this ability is key for [...] Read more.
Neural regeneration is very limited in humans but extremely efficient in echinoderms. The brittle star Amphiura filiformis can regenerate both components of its central nervous system as well as the peripheral system, and understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying this ability is key for evolutionary comparisons not only within the echinoderm group, but also wider within deuterostomes. Here we characterise the neural regeneration of this brittle star using a combination of immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization and Nanostring nCounter to determine the spatial and temporal expression of evolutionary conserved neural genes. We find that key genes crucial for the embryonic development of the nervous system in sea urchins and other animals are also expressed in the regenerating nervous system of the adult brittle star in a hierarchic and spatio-temporally restricted manner. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Evolution of Regeneration)
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14 pages, 6586 KiB  
Hypothesis
Regeneration or Scarring Derive from Specific Evolutionary Environmental Adaptations of the Life Cycles in Different Animals
by Lorenzo Alibardi
Biology 2023, 12(5), 733; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12050733 - 17 May 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2559
Abstract
The ability to heal or even regenerate large injuries in different animals derives from the evolution of their specific life cycles during geological times. The present, new hypothesis tries to explain the distribution of organ regeneration among animals. Only invertebrates and vertebrates that [...] Read more.
The ability to heal or even regenerate large injuries in different animals derives from the evolution of their specific life cycles during geological times. The present, new hypothesis tries to explain the distribution of organ regeneration among animals. Only invertebrates and vertebrates that include larval and intense metamorphic transformations can broadly regenerate as adults. Basically, regeneration competent animals are aquatic while terrestrial species have largely or completely lost most of the regeneration ability. Although genomes of terrestrial species still contain numerous genes that in aquatic species allow a broad regeneration (“regenerative genes”), the evolution of terrestrial species has variably modified the genetic networks linking these genes to the others that evolved during land adaptation, resulting in the inhibition of regeneration. Loss of regeneration took place by the elimination of intermediate larval phases and metamorphic transformations in the life cycles of land invertebrates and vertebrates. Once the evolution along a specific lineage generated species that could no longer regenerate, this outcome could not change anymore. It is therefore likely that what we learn from regenerative species will explain their mechanisms of regeneration but cannot or only partly be applied to non-regenerative species. Attempts to introduce “regenerative genes” in non-regenerative species most likely would disorder the entire genetic networks of the latter, determining death, teratomas and cancer. This awareness indicates the difficulty to introduce regenerative genes and their activation pathways in species that evolved genetic networks suppressing organ regeneration. Organ regeneration in non-regenerating animals such as humans should move to bio-engineering interventions in addition to “localized regenerative gene therapies” in order to replace lost tissues or organs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Evolution of Regeneration)
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