Sunday, June 9, 2013

Limb Regeneration

We can now add limb regeneration to the list of things that immune systems are responsible for.  Axolotls (such as the one pictured above) have been known to easily regenerate lost limbs, but the mechanisms for limb reproduction have largely been a mystery.  
Researchers have found that when Axolotls  depleted of macrophages loose a limb, they grow stumps and scars; but when immune cells are replenished and the wound re-opened, a complex signaling process begins between the macrophages and the surrounding tissue and the limb begins to regrow.  While the exact process of limb regeneration is far from determined, we now know that immune cells are key to limb regeneration. 

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