Science

Programme "Scientific projects"

Does regeneration reset the age clock? Assessing cellular senescence in regenerated organs

Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas

2011

Our study addresses whether regeneration could influence ageing. Many animals have the ability to fully regenerate certain organs after injury or amputation. We studied this phenomenon in crustaceans, which have the ability to fully regenerate their legs. We wondered whether regenerated legs show the same degree of senescence as non-regenerated limbs in the same animal – is the regenerated leg young or old?

To address this question we had to develop indicators of ageing that can be measured on individual legs. We compared the expression of genes in the limbs of young versus aged animals and identified some that are differentially expressed with age. Using these genes as 'markers' of ageing, we then compared aged limbs that had regenerated to ones that had not.

We found that regenerated limbs retain the characteristics of aged appendages with respect to some markers, while displaying a youthful character with respect to others. This raises the possibility that some types of cells in the body may become rejuvenated during the lifetime of an animal, following regeneration, while others continue to age. This is the issue we want to investigate further.

Final report (in Greek)

PHOTO GALLERY

Coordinator:

Michalis Averof, Researcher, Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas

Project Team:

Zacharias Kontarakis, Post - doctoral Researcher, Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas

Nikolaos Konstantinides, Doctoral Student, Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas

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