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Bosch, Thomas C. G.; Rollbühler, Rebecca; Schneider, Birgit and David, Charles N. (1991): Role of the cellular environment in interstitial stem cell proliferation in Hydra. In: Development Genes and Evolution, Vol. 200, No. 5: pp. 269-276 [PDF, 830kB]


The role of the cellular environment on hydra stem cell proliferation and differentiation was investigated by introduction of interstitial cells into host tissue of defined cellular composition. In epithelial tissue lacking all non-epithelial cells the interstitial cell population did not grow but differentiated into nerve cells and nematocytes. In host tissue with progressively increased numbers of nerve cells growth of the interstitial cell population was positively correlated to the nerve cell density. In agreement with previous observations (Bode et al. 1976), growth of the interstitial cell population was also found to be negatively correlated to the level of interstitial cells present. The strong correlation between the growth of the interstitial cell population and the presence of interstitial cells and nerve cells implies that interstitial cell proliferation is controlled by a feedback signal from interstitial cells and their derivatives. Our results suggest that the cellular environment of interstitial cells provides cues which are instrumental in stem cell decision making.

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