Regeneration

Macrostomum Repeated Regeneration Cycle

We are interested in the regeneration capacity of free-living flatworms and study regeneration processes in a flatworm model organism, Macrostomum lignano.
M. lignano and other flatworms, such as polyclads, are most suitable for our work because of their considerable regeneration capacity and their likely totipotent, i.e. all-powerful, stem cell system.

Stem cell labeling with BrdU (bromodeoxyuridine) in wholemount animals of Macrostomum lignano and in histological sections provides important clues to answer some questions:

What are the properties of a regeneration blastema?
How does the stem cell system react to amputation of a body part?
How many stem cells are necessary for successful regeneration?


Polyclad neoblasts

We also try to understand the relationship and find similarities between regeneration processes and embryonic and postembryonic development.

Most intriguing is the question whether repeated amputation and regeneration in an individual flatworm can slow down or even reverse ageing processes.

Members of this workgroup

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