Molecular signaling networks that choreograph epimorphic fin regeneration in zebrafish - a mini-review

Gerontology. 2010;56(2):231-40. doi: 10.1159/000259327. Epub 2009 Nov 18.


This short review provides a current synopsis of caudal fin regeneration in zebrafish with an emphasis on the molecular signaling networks that dictate epimorphic regeneration. At the outset, the fundamentals of caudal fin architecture and the stages of epimorphic regeneration are described. This is followed by a detailed look at the main networks implicated in fin regeneration, namely the Wnt, fibroblast growth factor, activin-betaA, retinoic acid and hedgehog signaling pathways. Throughout this mini-review, these molecular networks are examined through the lens of wound healing, blastema formation or regenerative outgrowth, three of the main stages of epimorphic regeneration. Next, the emerging role of noncoding RNAs as regulators of regeneration and mechanisms of regenerative termination are discussed. Finally, the implications for future research and the broader field of regenerative medicine are examined.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animal Structures / physiology
  • Animals
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / physiology
  • Hedgehog Proteins / physiology
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / physiology
  • Models, Biological
  • Multipotent Stem Cells / physiology
  • RNA, Untranslated / genetics
  • Regeneration / genetics
  • Regeneration / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Tretinoin / physiology
  • Wnt Proteins / physiology
  • Wound Healing / physiology
  • Zebrafish / genetics
  • Zebrafish / physiology*
  • Zebrafish Proteins / physiology
  • beta Catenin / physiology


  • Hedgehog Proteins
  • RNA, Untranslated
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Zebrafish Proteins
  • beta Catenin
  • ctnnb1 protein, zebrafish
  • Tretinoin
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors