Cnidarians possess remarkable powers of regeneration, but the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying this capability are unclear. Studying the hydrozoan Hydractinia echinata we show that a burst of stem cell proliferation occurs following decapitation, forming a blastema at the oral pole within 24 hours. This process is necessary for head regeneration. Knocking down Piwi1, Vasa, Pl10 or Ncol1 expressed by blastema cells inhibited regeneration but not blastema formation. EdU pulse-chase experiments and in vivo tracking of individual transgenic Piwi1+ stem cells showed that the cellular source for blastema formation is migration of stem cells from a remote area. Surprisingly, no blastema developed at the aboral pole after stolon removal. Instead, polyps transformed into stolons and then budded polyps. Hence, distinct mechanisms act to regenerate different organs in Hydractinia. This model, where stem cell behavior can be monitored in vivo at single cell resolution, offers new insights for regenerative biology.
- Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Stowers Institute for Medical Research, United States
© 2015, Bradshaw et al.
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The spatiotemporal blood vessel formation and specification at the osteogenic and angiogenic interface of murine cranial bone defect repair were examined utilizing a high-resolution multiphoton-based imaging platform in conjunction with advanced optical techniques that allow interrogation of the oxygen microenvironment and cellular energy metabolism in living animals. Our study demonstrates the dynamic changes of vessel types, that is, arterial, venous, and capillary vessel networks at the superior and dura periosteum of cranial bone defect, suggesting a differential coupling of the vessel type with osteoblast expansion and bone tissue deposition/remodeling during repair. Employing transgenic reporter mouse models that label distinct types of vessels at the site of repair, we further show that oxygen distributions in capillary vessels at the healing site are heterogeneous as well as time- and location-dependent. The endothelial cells coupling to osteoblasts prefer glycolysis and are less sensitive to microenvironmental oxygen changes than osteoblasts. In comparison, osteoblasts utilize relatively more OxPhos and potentially consume more oxygen at the site of repair. Taken together, our study highlights the dynamics and functional significance of blood vessel types at the site of defect repair, opening up opportunities for further delineating the oxygen and metabolic microenvironment at the interface of bone tissue regeneration.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide due to the inability of adult heart to regenerate after injury. N6-methyladenosine (m6A) methylation catalyzed by the enzyme methyltransferase-like 3 (Mettl3) plays an important role in various physiological and pathological bioprocesses. However, the role of m6A in heart regeneration remains largely unclear. To study m6A function in heart regeneration, we modulated Mettl3 expression in vitro and in vivo. Knockdown of Mettl3 significantly increased the proliferation of cardiomyocytes and accelerated heart regeneration following heart injury in neonatal and adult mice. However, Mettl3 overexpression decreased cardiomyocyte proliferation and suppressed heart regeneration in postnatal mice. Conjoint analysis of methylated RNA immunoprecipitation sequencing (MeRIP-seq) and RNA-seq identified Fgf16 as a downstream target of Mettl3-mediated m6A modification during postnatal heart regeneration. RIP-qPCR and luciferase reporter assays revealed that Mettl3 negatively regulates Fgf16 mRNA expression in an m6A-Ythdf2-dependent manner. The silencing of Fgf16 suppressed the proliferation of cardiomyocytes. However, the overexpression of ΔFgf16, in which the m6A consensus sequence was mutated, significantly increased cardiomyocyte proliferation and accelerated heart regeneration in postnatal mice compared with wild-type Fgf16. Our data demonstrate that Mettl3 post-transcriptionally reduces Fgf16 mRNA levels through an m6A-Ythdf2-dependen pathway, thereby controlling cardiomyocyte proliferation and heart regeneration.