Venugopal, G. and David, Charles N.
Nerve commitment in Hydra. I. Role of morphogenetic signals.
In: Developmental Biology, Vol. 83, No. 2: pp. 353-360
The kinetics of nerve commitment during head regeneration in Hydra were investigated using a newly developed assay for committed cells. Committed nerve precursors were assayed by their ability to continue nerve differentiation following explanation of small pieces of tissue. Committed nerve precursors appear at the site of regeneration within 6 hr after cutting and increase rapidly. The increase is localized to the site of regeneration and does not occur at proximal sites in the body column of the regenerate. The increase is delayed about 8–12 hr when regeneration occurs at sites lower in the body column. The results show, furthermore, that redistribution of committed precursors does not play a major role in the pattern of nerve differentiation during regeneration. Since the increase in committed nerves coincides with the increase in morphogenetic potential of the regenerating tissue, the results strengthen the idea that morphogenetic signals are involved directly in the control of nerve commitment in Hydra.