Stemness Activity Underlying Whole Brain Regeneration in a Basal Chordate

Tal Gordon*, Tal Zaquin, Mark Alec Kowarsky, Yotam Voskoboynik, Noam Hendin, Omri Wurtzel, Federico Caicci, Lucia Manni, Ayelet Voskoboynik, Noa Shenkar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Understanding how neurons regenerate following injury remains a central challenge in regenerative medicine. Adult mammals have a very limited ability to regenerate new neurons in the central nervous system (CNS). In contrast, the basal chordate Polycarpa mytiligera can regenerate its entire CNS within seven days of complete removal. Transcriptome sequencing, cellular labeling, and proliferation in vivo essays revealed that CNS regeneration is mediated by a newly formed neural progeny and the activation of neurodevelopmental pathways that are associated with enhanced stem-cell activity. Analyzing the expression of 239 activated pathways enabled a quantitative understanding of gene-set enrichment patterns at key regeneration stages. The molecular and cellular mechanisms controlling the regenerative ability that this study reveals can be used to develop innovative approaches to enhancing neurogenesis in closely-related chordate species, including humans.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3727
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • central nervous system
  • gene expression
  • regeneration
  • stem cells
  • transcriptome
  • tunicate


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