Regulatory networks that govern embryonic development have been well defined. While a common hypothesis supports the notion that the embryonic regulatory cascades are reexpressed following injury and tissue regeneration, the mechanistic regulatory pathways that mediate the regenerative response in higher organisms remain undefined. Relative to mammals, lower vertebrates, including zebrafish and newts, have a tremendous regenerative capacity to repair and regenerate a number of organs including: appendages, retina, heart, jaw and nervous system. Elucidation of the pathways that govern regeneration in these lower organisms may provide cues that will enhance the capacity for the regeneration of mammalian organs. Signaling pathways, such as the hedgehog pathway, have been shown to play critical functions during development and during regeneration in lower organisms. These signaling pathways have been shown to modulate multiple processes including cellular origin, positional identity and cellular maturation. The present review will focus on the cellular and molecular regulation of the hedgehog (HH) signaling pathway and its interaction with other signaling factors during appendage development and regeneration.
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© 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- Hedgehog signaling
- Limb development
- Signaling pathways