Sep 8, 2017

interleukin-11 plays a central role in tail regeneration in Xenopus tadpoles


Overview of the press release

Some animal species possess high organ regenerative ability, allowing them to reconstitute lost appendages. The tadpole of the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) is one such species. When Xenopus tadpoles lose their tails due to injury, a new population of undifferentiated proliferating cells, called blastema, appear at the tip of the amputated tail stumps and subsequently differentiate to form a regenerated tail that comprises a functional spinal cord, muscle, and other tissues. The molecular mechanisms underlying these cellular processes, however, were unknown until now.

Dr. Hiroshi Tsujioka and his colleagues at the University of Tokyo have demonstrated that interleukin-11, a secretory protein that is selectively expressed in the proliferating blastema cells, has the ability to induce and maintain proliferating blastema cells, which differentiate into several cell lineages during tail regeneration. By identifying a key factor that functions at the earliest stages of tail regeneration, this study provides a clue for better understanding organ regeneration in certain species.

Figure 1: interleukin-11 plays a central role in tail regeneration in Xenopus tadpoles.


Publication details

Journal Nature Communications
Title interleukin-11 induces and maintains progenitors of different cell lineages during Xenopus tadpole tail regeneration
Authors Hiroshi Tsujioka, Takekazu Kunieda, Yuki Katou, Katsuhiko Shirahige, Taro Fukazawa, Takeo Kubo
DOI 10.1038/s41467-017-00594-5
Paper link

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