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Leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius) regenerates brain cells

Penelitian - The researchers found this type of stem cell allows geckos to create new brain cells. Findings in Scientific Reports provide evidence of leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius) is also capable of regenerating parts of the brain after injury that can help in replacing human brain cells lost or damaged by injury, aging or disease.

"The brain is a complex organ and there is very little good treatment for brain injury. This is a very interesting field of research. The findings suggest the gecko brain is constantly updating brain cells, something that humans do not do," says Matthew Vickaryous from Ontario Veterinary College (OVC).

Penelitian Leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius) regenerates brain cells

This study is the first to provide evidence of the formation of new neurons in the brain of leopard gecko. The researchers identified stem cells that regularly produce new brain cells in the medial cortex that are responsible for social cognition and behavior as studied in the hippocampus in humans.

"Most regeneration research has seen zebrafish or salamander. Our work uses lizards that are closer to mammals than fish or amphibians," says Rebecca McDonald of the University of Guelph in Ontario.

The researchers injected the chemical labels inserted into the DNA of newly formed cells to see where it first appeared, where it migrated and what kind of cells it ended up. The researchers were surprised at how stem cells are contained by the gecko brain and how quickly new brain cells are produced.

Last year, Vickaryous published a study for the first time identifying cells in gecko that allow it to regrow the spine when regenerating the tail. Researchers hope to continue studying the findings application for wound healing.

"The next step is why some species can replace brain cells while humans can not. There is a lot of new information about the brain's ability to produce new cells, something long considered impossible. This really changes the way we treat injury brain," says McDonald.

Journal : Rebecca P. McDonald & Matthew K. Vickaryous. Evidence for neurogenesis in the medial cortex of the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius, Scientific Reports, 25 June 2018, DOI:10.1038/s41598-018-27880-6

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