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Journal Article

A model of head regeneration in hydra


Kemmner,  Wolfgang
Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;

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Kemmner, W. (1984). A model of head regeneration in hydra. Differentiation, 26(1-2), 83-90. doi:10.1111/j.1432-0436.1984.tb01378.x.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-D9A1-0
Studies of the changes of the head inhibitor and the head activator during hydra head regeneration have shown that free head inhibitor blocks its own release from sources and that of head activator as well. On the basis of this feedback mechanism a system of differential equations was formulated which describes the changes of the free and bound substances during regeneration in a computer simulation. Removal of the head is assumed to cause a loss of free inhibitor by leakage. The resulting decrease in the concentration of free inhibitor allows extensive release of both substances from sources close to the cut surface. The fast diffusing inhibitor spreads out over the whole tissue. Due to its smaller diffusion rate the activator accumulates near the cut surface. This distribution is stable during the first hours of regeneration, and we propose that it is the necessary prerequisite for head formation. Using the stimulating property of the head activator on the production of nerve cells, which are in turn activator- and inhibitor-producing cells, restoration of the gradient of the sources in the model is assured. Budding, which is another important morphogenetic event of hydra, can also be described in terms of the model.