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A conserved strategy for inducing appendage regeneration

By Michael J Abrams, Fayth Hui Tan, Ty Basinger, Martin L Heithe, Yutian Li, Misha Raffiee, Patrick Leahy, John O Dabiri, David A Gold, Lea Goentoro

Posted 22 Nov 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.11.21.392720

Can limb regeneration be induced? Few have pursued this question, and an evolutionarily conserved strategy has yet to emerge. This study reports a strategy for inducing regenerative response in appendages, which works across three species that span the animal phylogeny. In Cnidaria, the frequency of appendage regeneration in the moon jellyfish Aurelia was increased by feeding with the amino acid L-leucine and the growth hormone insulin. In insects, the same strategy induced tibia regeneration in adult Drosophila. Finally, in mammals, L-leucine and sucrose administration induced digit regeneration in adult mice, including dramatically from mid- phalangeal amputation. The conserved effect of L-leucine and insulin/sugar suggests a key role for energetic parameters in regeneration induction. The simplicity by which nutrient supplementation can induce appendage regeneration provides a testable hypothesis across animals.

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