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Stem cells responsible for deer antler regeneration are unable to recapitulate the process of first antler development-revealed through intradermal and subcutaneous tissue transplantation

Stem cells responsible for deer antler regeneration are unable to recapitulate the process of first antler development-revealed through intradermal and subcutaneous tissue transplantation

Journal of Experimental Zoology. Part B, Molecular and Developmental Evolution 314(7): 552-570

Antlers offer a unique model for the study of whether regeneration recapitulates development in a mammalian organ. Research, to date, supports the full recapitulation in antler, but a recent report that subcutaneously transplanted (ST) pedicle periosteum (PP) failed to induce that ectopic antler formation could argue against recapitulation, as antlerogenic periosteum (AP) can readily do so. However, it was not clear in that study whether the result was caused by inability of the PP to interact with the skin or owing to failure to create the required close contact to it. This study was designed to clarify this uncertainty by adopting intradermal transplantation (IT) to achieve the required close contact without the need for significant mass expansion. The results showed that IT of 1/8 of the original AP mass or more was sufficient for antler induction, whereas ST of 1/4-AP or less could not do so within 2 years. The minimum amount of AP required for antler induction using the IT approach was somewhere between 1/8 and 1/12-AP (<30 mg). The results further demonstrated that IT of 62-84 mg PP failed to induce ectopic antler formation, even if the PP had fused with the surrounding skin. Because this mass of PP was 2-3 times the minimum amount of AP required for antler induction, we conclude that PP does not recapitulate AP in induction of ectopic antler development. It is likely that PP has been restricted for antler regeneration and lost the potential to initiate antler development.

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Accession: 055918762

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PMID: 20549758

DOI: 10.1002/jez.b.21361

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