This Epsolutel, which looks almost mischievous, is an important aid to medicine. Because its cells and tissues have provided important clues as to why this salamander can replace entire limbs, but we can’t
Sea urchins native to Mexico are evolutionarily eccentric in many ways. Unlike other salamanders, their gill and aquatic larvae never turn into amphibians that live on land. Instead, absolutil becomes sexually mature like larvae and never loses its typical larval traits throughout their lives – including gill tufts on the sides of the head that are clearly recognizable in this photo. Among other things, these supplements gave this salamander its name: Axolotl means something like a water monster in the Aztec language Nahuatl.
But Absolutl is mainly famous for another property: it has an extraordinarily good ability to regenerate. If a leg is cut off, a nerve is cut off or an organ is injured, these body parts simply grow back. Even parts of the brain or heart can regenerate “miracle healing”. It seems that special genes are responsible for this, by which a kind of “regeneration brake” is released to cells and tissues. As a result, cell types that are normally difficult to regrow, such as nerves, can regenerate in these animals
But there’s also another factor, as researchers led by James Goodwin of the MDI Biological Laboratory in Maine, USA, discovered with the help of Epsolutel shown here, among other things. Accordingly, macrophages in the immune system also play a critical role in the ability of Absolutl to heal. The specific type of these phagocytes prevents tissue from scarring at the wound site, and instead promotes regeneration.
Goodwin and his team recently discovered that these particular macrophages do not come from bone marrow, as is usually the case, but originate from the absolutial liver. This finding now opens the possibility of investigating whether this particular type of cell may also not be present in humans and what distinguishes our macrophages from those of the apposition. “Humans can also have macrophages that can heal infections, but something might get in the way of that,” Goodwin says.
The goal of this research is not to allow people to regrow a full leg. Instead, Epsolute researchers want to improve wound healing — for example, by preventing scarring. The possibility of severed or severely injured nerves stimulating regeneration is also the impetus for this research.
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