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根据再生能力有望重划身体器官分类

来源:科学网 2007-02-05 08:46

    众所周知,肝脏是人体器官中的再生“能手”。即使手术切除了三分之二的肝脏,剩余的肝脏细胞也能在几周之内重新形成具有完整功能的器官。然后肝脏的“近邻”胰脏却非常不善于再生。美国Howard  Hughes医学研究所研究员Douglas  A.  Melton带领他在哈佛大学的研究小组,对小鼠胚胎的肝脏、胰脏发育进行了对照研究,以期更多地了解调节器官生长发育的动力。          

    Melton小组调节了发育中的小鼠胚胎肝脏和胰腺中祖细胞的数量,结果发现胚胎肝脏能够在肝脏祖细胞减少的情况下仍然发育成完全的肝脏,而胰脏的大小却直接受到其胚胎祖细胞数目多少的影响,而且祖细胞数目越少,胰脏将越小。《自然》杂志于1月28日在线发表了这一结果。           

     Melton提出一个这样的疑问:我们可否根据祖细胞库的生长能力把器官分为两类,一类是诸如肝脏、血液和皮肤这样拥有很强再生能力的器官,另一类是像胰脏这样再生能力很差的器官,也就是说,他们的祖细胞的数量对该器官最终的大小起决定性的作用。          

    Melton表示,他们的研究对利用干细胞再生组织或器官进行治疗有重要指导意义,  然而这些新发现仅仅初步揭示了一些特定的细胞特征和遗传奥秘,知道它们是如何调控器官大小的。


部分英文原文:

Organ size is limited by the number of embryonic progenitor cells in the pancreas but not the liver

Ben Z. Stanger1,2,3, Akemi J. Tanaka1 and Douglas A. Melton1

  1. Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard Stem Cell Institute, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA
  2. Gastrointestinal Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA
  3. Present address: Division of Gastroenterology and Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.

The determinants of vertebrate organ size are poorly understood, but the process is thought to depend heavily on growth factors and other environmental cues. In the blood and central nervous system, for example, organ mass is determined primarily by growth-factor-regulated cell proliferation and apoptosis to achieve a final target size. Here, we report that the size of the mouse pancreas is constrained by an intrinsic programme established early in development, one that is essentially not subject to growth compensation. Specifically, final pancreas size is limited by the size of the progenitor cell pool that is set aside in the developing pancreatic bud. By contrast, the size of the liver is not constrained by reductions in the progenitor cell pool. These findings show that progenitor cell number, independently of regulation by growth factors, can be a key determinant of organ size.

更多原文链接:http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/nature05537.html

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