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Article

A Spatiotemporal Characterisation of Redox Molecules in Planarians, with a Focus on the Role of Glutathione during Regeneration

Centre for Environmental Sciences, Zoology, Biodiversity and Toxicology, Hasselt University, Agoralaan D, 3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally.
Academic Editor: Alessandra Salvetti
Biomolecules 2021, 11(5), 714; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11050714
Received: 7 March 2021 / Revised: 26 April 2021 / Accepted: 28 April 2021 / Published: 11 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights into Stem Cell Regulation)
A strict coordination between pro- and antioxidative molecules is needed for normal animal physiology, although their exact function and dynamics during regeneration and development remains largely unknown. Via in vivo imaging, we were able to locate and discriminate between reactive oxygen species (ROS) in real-time during different physiological stages of the highly regenerative planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. All ROS signals were strong enough to overcome the detected autofluorescence. Combined with an in situ characterisation and quantification of the transcription of several antioxidant genes, our data showed that the planarian gut and epidermis have a well-equipped redox system. Pharmacological inhibition or RNA interference of either side of the redox balance resulted in alterations in the regeneration process, characterised by decreased blastema sizes and delayed neurodevelopment, thereby affecting tails more than heads. Focusing on glutathione, a central component in the redox balance, we found that it is highly present in planarians and that a significant reduction in glutathione content led to regenerative failure with tissue lesions, characterised by underlying stem cell alterations. This exploratory study indicates that ROS and antioxidants are tightly intertwined and should be studied as a whole to fully comprehend the function of the redox balance in animal physiology. View Full-Text
Keywords: planarians; wound healing and tissue regeneration; stem cells; redox molecules; reactive oxygen species; antioxidants planarians; wound healing and tissue regeneration; stem cells; redox molecules; reactive oxygen species; antioxidants
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bijnens, K.; Jaenen, V.; Wouters, A.; Leynen, N.; Pirotte, N.; Artois, T.; Smeets, K. A Spatiotemporal Characterisation of Redox Molecules in Planarians, with a Focus on the Role of Glutathione during Regeneration. Biomolecules 2021, 11, 714. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11050714

AMA Style

Bijnens K, Jaenen V, Wouters A, Leynen N, Pirotte N, Artois T, Smeets K. A Spatiotemporal Characterisation of Redox Molecules in Planarians, with a Focus on the Role of Glutathione during Regeneration. Biomolecules. 2021; 11(5):714. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11050714

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bijnens, Karolien, Vincent Jaenen, Annelies Wouters, Nathalie Leynen, Nicky Pirotte, Tom Artois, and Karen Smeets. 2021. "A Spatiotemporal Characterisation of Redox Molecules in Planarians, with a Focus on the Role of Glutathione during Regeneration" Biomolecules 11, no. 5: 714. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11050714

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