Researchers have tried to comprehend the chain of events which help mammals regenerate a lost fingertip.
Humans and other mammals are able to completely regenerate when a fingertip is lost. It may take only a few months before which an amputated fingertip completely regenerates itself. The finding holds great promise for the development of future therapies to regenerate lost limbs.
Although we all know that fingernails keep growing, we do not understand the reason for this. During the study, researchers used genetically engineered mice to spot the biochemical events which happen after a fingertip amputation.
The research team found a group of stem cells in the nail matrix which inspire the restoration of an amputated nail. These stem cells are relying on proteins which belong to the "Wnt signaling network", and have a crucial part to play in tissue and hair regeneration. "When we blocked the Wnt-signaling pathway in mice with amputated fingertips, the nail and bone did not grow back as they normally would," researchers said.
Researchers found that manipulating the Mnt pathway led to stimulating bone and tissue regeneration beyond the fingertip. Fingertip regeneration was entirely dependant on Wnt signaling and this research can help evolve therapies for regenerating limbs.