Impaired caudal fin-fold regeneration in zebrafish deficient for the tumor suppressor Pten

Alexander James Hale, Ali Kiai, Jelte Sikkens, Jeroen den Hertog

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


Zebrafish are able to completely regrow their caudal fin-folds after amputation. Following injury, wound healing occurs, followed by the formation of a blastema, which produces cells to replace the lost tissue in the final phase of regenerative outgrowth. Here we show that, surprisingly, the phosphatase and tumor suppressor Pten, an antagonist of phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K) signaling, is required for zebrafish caudal fin-fold regeneration. We found that homozygous knock-out mutant (ptena-/-ptenb-/- ) zebrafish embryos, lacking functional Pten, did not regenerate their caudal fin-folds. AKT phosphorylation was enhanced, which is consistent with the function of Pten. Reexpression of Pten, but not catalytically inactive mutant Pten-C124S, rescued regeneration, as did pharmacological inhibition of PI3K. Blastema formation, determined by in situ hybridization for the blastema marker junbb, appeared normal upon caudal fin-fold amputation of ptena-/-ptenb-/- zebrafish embryos. Whole-mount immunohistochemistry using specific markers indicated that proliferation was arrested in embryos lacking functional Pten, and that apoptosis was enhanced. Together, these results suggest a critical role for Pten by limiting PI3K signaling during the regenerative outgrowth phase of zebrafish caudal fin-fold regeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-226
Number of pages10
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017


  • Journal Article


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