DELINEATING THE ROLE OF IMMUNE RESPONSE IN WHOLE BODY REGENERATION OF SEA STAR LARVAE
Kate Buckley, Carnegie Mellon University
Katherine Buckley, Grace Wolcanski, Veronica Hinman
Department of Biological Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
Regenerative abilities are wide-spread across metazoans, although the extent to which organisms are capable of regenerating varies widely across lineages. Although many animals are able to regrow specific cell types or limbs, the most extensive version is known as whole body regeneration. This phenomenon involves the coordinated re-growth of multiple cell and tissue types to reproduce complete body plans. A notable example of this is the larval stage of sea stars. Following bisection along the anterior-posterior axis, both larval halves are capable of complete regeneration. Additionally, larvae have potent healing responses and are able to recover from wounds within a few hours. Analysis of RNA-Seq data collected during larval regeneration indicates that this response consists of three components: wound healing, axis re-specification, and cell proliferation. Here, we will present data on how the larval immune system activates each of these arms.