Biological insights into the rapid tissue regeneration of freshwater crayfish and crustaceans

Mesalie Feleke, Samuel Bennett, Jiazhi Chen, David Chandler, Xiaoyong Hu, Jiake Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
230 Downloads (Pure)


The freshwater crayfish is capable of regenerating limbs, following autotomy, injury and predation. In arthropod species, regeneration and moulting are two processes linked and strongly regulated by ecdysone. The regeneration of crayfish limbs is divided into wound healing, blastema formation, cellular reprogramming and tissue patterning. Limb blastema cells undergo proliferation, dedifferentiation and redifferentiation. A limb bud, containing folded segments of the regenerating limb, is encased within a cuticular sheath. The functional limb regenerates, in proecdysis, in two to three consecutive moults. Rapid tissue growth is regulated by hormones, limb nerves and local cells. The TGF-β/activin signalling pathway has been determined in the crayfish, P. fallax f. virginalis, and is suggested as a potential regulator of tissue regeneration. In this review article, we discuss current understanding of tissue regeneration in the crayfish and various crustaceans. A thorough understanding of the cellular, genetic and molecular pathways of these biological processes is promising for the development of therapeutic applications for a wide array of diseases in regenerative medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)740-753
Number of pages14
JournalCell Biochemistry and Function
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


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