The Hydra model system is well suited for the eludication of the mechanisms underlying regeneration in the adult, and an understanding of the core mechanisms is likely to cast light on pathways conserved in other species. Recent detailed analyses of the activation of the Wnt-beta-catenin pathway in bisected Hydra shows that the route taken to regenerate a structure as complex as the head varies dramatically according to the level of the amputation. When decapitation induces direct re-development due to Wnt3 signaling from epithelial cells, head regeneration after mid-gastric section relies first on Wnt3 signaling from interstitial cells, that undergo apoptosis-induced compensatory proliferation, and subsequently on activation of Wnt3 signaling in the epithelial cells. The relative distribution between stem cells and head progenitor cells is strikingly different in these two contexts, indicating that the pre-amputation homeostatic conditions define and constrain the route that bridges wound-healing to the re-development program of the missing structure.
see on Pubmed