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J Exp Zool July 1, 1998; 281 (4): 288-304.

Cellular mechanisms of intestine regeneration in the sea cucumber, Holothuria glaberrima Selenka (Holothuroidea:Echinodermata).

García-Arrarás JE , Estrada-Rodgers L , Santiago R , Torres II , Díaz-Miranda L , Torres-Avillán I .

Echinoderms are the deuterostome group with the most striking capacity to regenerate lost body parts. In particular, members of the class Holothuroidea are able to regenerate most of their internal organs following a typical evisceration process. Such formation of new viscera in an adult organism provides a unique model to study the process of organogenesis. We have studied this process in the sea cucumber Holothuria glabberrima by describing the spatial and temporal pattern of cellular events that occur during intestine regeneration following chemically induced evisceration. Regeneration begins as a thickening of the mesenteries that supported the autotomized organs to the body wall. The mesenterial thickening consists of tissues where most of the cellular populations found in the normal intestine are already present. However, the cell numbers differ, particularly those of hemocytes and amoebocytes, suggesting that some of these cells play an important role in the formation of the solid rod of hypertrophic mesentery that characterizes the intestinal primordia. The appearance of the luminal epithelium, together with the formation of the lumen, occurs during the second week of regeneration by proliferation and extensive migration of cells from the esophagus and cloacal ends into the thickenings. At this stage all tissue layers are present, but it takes an additional week for them to exhibit the proportions typical of the normal organ. Cell division, as determined by BrdU labeling, mainly occurs in the coelomic epithelia of the hypertrophic mesentery and in the regenerating luminal epithelium. Our study provides evidence that the process of new organ formation in holothurians can be described as an intermediate process showing characteristics of both epimorphic and morphallactic phenomena.

PubMed ID: 9658592
Article link: J Exp Zool
Grant support: [+]

Genes referenced: LOC574837