Epidermis and Re-epithelialization in Schmidtea mediterranea

Gumbrys, Aurimas (2017). Epidermis and Re-epithelialization in Schmidtea mediterranea. PhD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000c71c


Epidermal layer is crucial for organism’s survival as its ability to close the wound is essential for tissue recovery. Planarian epidermis enables animal recovery and survival after virtually any body part amputation. Nevertheless, neither the epidermis nor the mechanisms endowing such a remarkable wound healing capacity is described in detail in planarians. Our work introduces live imaging methodology, which allows following
epidermal cells and their response to tissue damage or tissue loss for extended time (hours) and in high resolution. Using our methods, we followed planarian cells live for the first time and in conjunction with electron microscopy analysis we described epidermal cell behaviors during tissue maintenance, response to tissue damage and tissue loss. Our data provides comprehensive description of cellular wound response, wound closure as well as preexisting tissue contribution to tissue restoration. In addition, we performed epidermal expression profile analysis to identify the candidate list of epidermally expressed genes to depict the machinery endowing these epidermal cell behaviors. In the pilot functional (RNAi) screen an array of transcription factors with a tissue maintenance phenotypes were identified. Our work established tools for subsequent functional studies of other epidermal
expressed genes and paved the way to dissect the mechanisms of the epidermis’ maintenance and efficient wound healing in planarians.

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