Uncovering the regeneration strategies of zebrafish organs: a comprehensive systems biology study on heart, cerebellum, fin, and retina regeneration
Springer Science and Business Media LLC -- BMC Systems Biology
DOI 10.1186/s12918-018-0544-3
  1. System biology
  2. Zebrafish
  3. Regeneration
  4. Heart
  5. Fin
  6. Retina
  7. Cerebellum
  8. PPI (protein-protein interactions)


Regeneration is an important biological process for the restoration of organ mass, structure, and function after damage, and involves complex bio-physiological mechanisms including cell differentiation and immune responses. We constructed four regenerative protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks using dynamic models and AIC (Akaike’s Information Criterion), based on time-course microarray data from the regeneration of four zebrafish organs: heart, cerebellum, fin, and retina. We extracted core and organ-specific proteins, and proposed a recalled-blastema-like formation model to uncover regeneration strategies in zebrafish.


It was observed that the core proteins were involved in TGF-β signaling for each step in the recalled-blastema-like formation model and TGF-β signaling may be vital for regeneration. Integrins, FGF, and PDGF accelerate hemostasis during heart injury, while Bdnf shields retinal neurons from secondary damage and augments survival during the injury response. Wnt signaling mediates the growth and differentiation of cerebellum and fin neural stem cells, potentially providing a signal to trigger differentiation.


Through our analysis of all four zebrafish regenerative PPI networks, we provide insights that uncover the underlying strategies of zebrafish organ regeneration.