Regeneration in the Podarcis bocagei model organism: a comprehensive immune-/histochemical analysis of the tail

  • Carla LuísEmail author
  • Ilda Rodrigues
  • Susana G. Guerreiro
  • Rúben Fernandes
  • Raquel Soares
Original Paper


Regeneration is the process of regrowth of an injured/missing tissue/organ from the residual tissue. One outstanding example is the regeneration of tail in lizards in which they can completely regenerate without the formation of scaring or fibrotic tissue. This study presents an analysis of the main differences between a mature regenerated tail and the original tail of the lizard Podarcis bocagei by comparing histological biomarkers for support structures, morphology and pigmentation, vasculature and energy storage. Matured regenerated and original tails were studied with different histological staining’s and immunohistochemistry to highlight the various tissue components. We found differences in the morphological features scalation pattern and pigmentation, as well as in the support structures: muscle organization, collagen and calcification. Vasculature was remodeled. Energy storage was restored with regeneration maintaining therefore the main metabolic function. We demonstrate that the regenerated tail does not lose its main functions like locomotion and energy metabolism. The present findings may open a new window of research with implications in regenerative medicine.


Tail regeneration Histology Lizards Podarcis bocagei Regenerative medicine 



The authors would like to thank Catarina Pinho and Antigoni Kaliontzopoulou from CIBIO-InBIO, Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, Portugal, for providing samples of original and regenerative tails of P. bocagei. This work was supported by FCT—Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (REF UID/BIM/04293/2013); by the project (NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-000012) funded by COMPETE and Fundo Social Europeu; and by a scholarship (Ref. SAICT2016/FEDER/BIO4DIA/BTI).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

There is no conflict of interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of HealthPolytechnic of Porto (ESS/P.PORTO)PortoPortugal
  2. 2.Biochemistry Unit, Department of Biomedicine, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of Porto (FMUP)PortoPortugal
  3. 3.Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde (I3S), Metabolism, Nutrition and Endocrinology GroupUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  4. 4.Institute of Molecular Pathology and ImmunologyUniversity of Porto (IPATIMUP)PortoPortugal
  5. 5.Faculty of Nutrition and Food ScienceUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal

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