Scientists shine new light on how cells coordinate eye growth in fish | 3/26/2019 | Staff
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New insight on how cells work together to control growth in the eyes of fish has been published today in eLife.

The study suggests a system where cells in the neural retina of Japanese rice fish (also known as the medaka) give orders to cells in the retinal pigment epithelium, to ensure the eyes develop properly in these animals. The findings add to our understanding of how cells can coordinate organ growth, and show how random chance and the location of cells within certain tissues play a role in this process.

Plants - Animals - Cells - Stem - Cells

Plants and animals grow by making more cells. Stem cells are crucial to this process as they are able to create copies of themselves when needed. For organisms to maintain the correct proportions, growth must be regulated at the level of the whole body and the sizes of each organ and tissues within an organ.

In the fish eye, the tissue that sees light (the neural retina) and the tissue that supports it (the retinal pigment epithelium) have their own stem cells that do not mix together. When these different tissues grow, they must do so at exactly the same speed, otherwise the eyes could develop wrinkles that would cause poor eyesight in the animals.

Growth - Tissues - Exists - Living - Organisms

"The coordinated growth of multiple independent tissues exists in all living organisms, and is important not only for growth, but also for healing wounds and replacing dead cells," explains first author Erika Tsingos, a doctoral student at Heidelberg University's Centre for Organismal Studies (COS), Germany. "When this control goes awry, it can lead to diseases including cancer. It's therefore important to understand how tissues normally agree on making new cells, and how random chance and a cells' surroundings can change the situation. In...
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