ReviewCell Biology

Apoptosis, Stem Cells, and Tissue Regeneration

Sci. Signal.  26 Oct 2010:
Vol. 3, Issue 145, pp. re8
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.3145re8

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Tissue regeneration after wounding or amputation generally requires cell proliferation. Work in several model organisms, including Drosophila, Hydra, Xenopus, and mouse, revealed a surprising function for caspases in cell proliferation after tissue damage, in addition to their known role in a form of cell death called apoptosis. In apoptotic cells, caspases can stimulate the production of secreted cytokines, such as Wnt, bone morphogenetic protein (BMP), transforming growth factor–β (TGF-β), Hedgehog family members, and prostaglandins, which in turn induce proliferation of neighboring cells, thus promoting tissue regeneration and homeostasis. These pathways can also contribute to tumorigenesis. This Review summarizes findings on this phenomenon, termed “apoptosis-induced compensatory proliferation,” and contains three figures and 110 references.