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Szymon Tomczyk

  • Hydra, a model system for deciphering the mechanisms of aging and resistance to aging. Conn’s Handbook for models on human aging (Second Edition); Chapt. 38

    abstract

    Conn's Handbook of Models for Human Aging, Second Edition, presents key aspects of biology, nutrition, factors affecting lifespan, methods of age determination, use in research and the disadvantages/advantages of use. Using a multidisciplinary approach, this updated edition is designed as the only comprehensive, current work that covers the diversity in aging models. Chapters on comparative models explore age-related diseases, including Alzheimer's, joint disease, cataracts, cancer and obesity. Also included are new tricks and approaches not available in primary publications. This must-have handbook is an indispensable resource for researchers interested in the mechanisms of aging, gerontologists, health professionals, allied health practitioners and students.

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  • Multi-functionality and plasticity characterize epithelial cells in Hydra. Tissue Barriers ;3(4):e1068908. 10.1080/21688370.2015.1068908. 1068908. PMC4681288.

    abstract

    Epithelial sheets, a synapomorphy of all metazoans but porifers, are present as 2 layers in cnidarians, ectoderm and endoderm, joined at their basal side by an extra-cellular matrix named mesoglea. In the Hydra polyp, epithelial cells of the body column are unipotent stem cells that continuously self-renew and concomitantly express their epitheliomuscular features. These multifunctional contractile cells maintain homeostasis by providing a protective physical barrier, by digesting nutrients, by selecting a stable microbiota, and by rapidly closing wounds. In addition, epithelial cells are highly plastic, supporting the adaptation of Hydra to physiological and environmental changes, such as long starvation periods where survival relies on a highly dynamic autophagy flux. Epithelial cells also play key roles in developmental processes as evidenced by the organizer activity they develop to promote budding and regeneration. We propose here an integrative view of the homeostatic and developmental aspects of epithelial plasticity in Hydra.

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  • Multifunctionality and plasticity characterize epithelial cells in Hydra DOI:10.1080/21688370.2015.1068908

    abstract

    Epithelial sheets, a synapomorphy of all metazoans but porifers, are present as 2 layers in cnidarians, ectoderm and endoderm, joined at their basal side by an extra-cellular matrix named mesoglea. In the Hydra polyp, epithelial cells of the body column are unipotent stem cells that continuously self-renew and concomitantly express their epitheliomuscular features. These multifunctional contractile cells maintain homeostasis by providing a protective physical barrier, by digesting nutrients, by selecting a stable microbiota, and by rapidly closing wounds. In addition, epithelial cells are highly plastic, supporting the adaptation of Hydra to physiological and environmental changes, such as long starvation periods where survival relies on a highly dynamic autophagy flux. Epithelial cells also play key roles in developmental processes as evidenced by the organizer activity they develop to promote budding and regeneration. We propose here an integrative view of the homeostatic and developmental aspects of epithelial plasticity in Hydra.

    see on external website

  • Hydra, a powerful model for aging studies. Invertebr. Reprod. Dev. 2015 Jan;59(sup1):11-16. 10.1080/07924259.2014.927805. 927805. PMC4463768. NIHMS685130.

    abstract

    Cnidarian Hydra polyps escape senescence, most likely due to the robust activity of their three stem cell populations. These stem cells continuously self-renew in the body column and differentiate at the extremities following a tightly coordinated spatial pattern. Paul Brien showed in 1953 that in one particular species, Hydra oligactis, cold-dependent sexual differentiation leads to rapid aging and death. Here, we review the features of this inducible aging phenotype. These cellular alterations, detected several weeks after aging was induced, are characterized by a decreasing density of somatic interstitial cell derivatives, a disorganization of the apical nervous system, and a disorganization of myofibers of the epithelial cells. Consequently, tissue replacement required to maintain homeostasis, feeding behavior, and contractility of the animal are dramatically affected. Interestingly, this aging phenotype is not observed in all H. oligactis strains, thus providing a powerful experimental model for investigations of the genetic control of aging. Given the presence in the cnidarian genome of a large number of human orthologs that have been lost in ecdysozoans, such approaches might help uncover novel regulators of aging in vertebrates.

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