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Zebrafish & regenerative medicine

Two separate studies, using zebrafish, are helping to give greater insights into how cells regrow in different parts of the body.

At Washington University School of Medicine, USA, researchers have found key details on how zebrafish regrow a severed tail fin and how cells ‘remember’ their original identity and fully reconstitute the lost fin.

These findings, published in the journal Genome Biology, suggested this is due to specific patterns of chemical markers attached to the cell DNA.

In Germany, scientists at EARA member the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC), are also using zebrafish to understand how organs are able to regenerate.

The team of Jan Philipp Junker has developed a new technique that determines the type and origin of an organism’s cells.

Cell lineage trees should help researchers better understand how certain diseases emerge and how organs regenerate, with the heart being one example.

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