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Does regeneration reset the age clock? – reAGE

Submission summary

The dream of regenerative medicine – to regenerate functional organs as replacements for damaged or amputated parts of our body – has captured the public interest. In public imagination regeneration is sometimes also associated with rejuvenation, the reversal of ageing. We know that certain populations of cells, such as germ cells, can evade senescence or reset the 'age clock' when they give rise to the next generation. To what extent can regeneration reverse the ageing of tissues? Is the process of rebuilding of an organ able to purge tissue damage that has accumulated with age? These questions have never been directly addressed.
Regeneration is not a rare phenomenon in nature. Many animals have the ability to regenerate their limbs or parts of their trunk during their lifetime, after suffering injury. Our study explores what such natural models can tell us about the influence of regeneration on ageing. Does regeneration in ageing animals restore organs to their youthful state? To address this question we will exploit a small crustacean, Parhyale, which has been the focus of our recent studies on regeneration. Parhyale have the ability to fully regenerate its limbs within 1-2 weeks of amputation.
Parhyale have a lifespan of approximately two years. In the first phase of this project, we will identify molecular signs of ageing in this animal and examine whether regeneration restores Parhyale limbs to their youthful state (preliminary results suggest that it does so). In the second phase, we will investigate how this ‘rejuvenation’ occurs; how cell renewal that accompanies regeneration may help to purge age-related damage.

Project coordinator

Monsieur Michalis AVEROF (Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle de Lyon)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


IGFL - CNRS Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle de Lyon

Help of the ANR 391,688 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: December 2015 - 48 Months

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