Vertebrate-like regeneration in the invertebrate chordate amphioxus
Ildikó M. L. Somorjai a,b,1,2, Rajmund L. Somorjai c, Jordi Garcia-Fernàndez b,1, and Hector Escrivà a,1
aObservatoire Océanologique de Banyuls-sur-Mer, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and Université Pierre et Marie Curie Paris VI, F-66650 Banyus-sur-Mer, France;
bDepartament de Genètica, Facultat de Biologia, Universitat de Barcelona, 08028 Barcelona, Spain; and
cNational Research Council of Canada, Institute for Biodiagnostics, Winnipeg, MB, R3B 1Y6, Canada
Edited by Sean B. Carroll, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, and approved November 23, 2011 (received for review January 5, 2011)
An important question in biology is why some animals are able to regenerate, whereas others are not. The basal chordate amphioxus is uniquely positioned to address the evolution of regeneration. We report here the high regeneration potential of the European amphioxus Branchiostoma lanceolatum. Adults regenerate both anterior and posterior structures, including neural tube, notochord, fin, and muscle. Development of a classifier based on tail regeneration profiles predicts the assignment of young and old adults to their own class with >94% accuracy. The process involves loss of differentiated characteristics, formation of an msx-expressing blastema, and neurogenesis. Moreover, regeneration is linked to the activation of satellite-like Pax3/7 progenitor cells, the extent of which declines with size and age. Our results provide a framework for understanding the evolution and diversity of regeneration mechanisms in vertebrates.
invertebrate chordate-vertebrate transition, stem cells, cephalochordate
1To whom correspondence may be addressed.
2Present address: Centre for Organismal Studies (COS), University of Heidelberg, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.
Author contributions: I.M.L.S. and R.L.S. designed research; I.M.L.S. and R.L.S. performed research; I.M.L.S., R.L.S., J.G.-F., and H.E. contributed new reagents/analytic tools; I.M.L.S. and R.L.S. analyzed data; and I.M.L.S., R.L.S., J.G.-F., and H.E. wrote the paper.
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
*This Direct Submission article had a prearranged editor.
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