eCite Digital Repository

Tail loss and telomeres: consequences of large-scale tissue regeneration in a terrestrial ectotherm


Fitzpatrick, LJ and Olsson, M and Parsley, LM and Pauliny, A and While, GM and Wapstra, E, Tail loss and telomeres: consequences of large-scale tissue regeneration in a terrestrial ectotherm, Biology Letters, 15, (7) Article 20190151. ISSN 1744-9561 (2019) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

DOI: doi:10.1098/rsbl.2019.0151


Large-scale tissue regeneration has potential consequences for telomere length through increases in cell division and changes in metabolism which increase the potential for oxidative stress damage to telomeres. The effects of regeneration on telomere dynamics have been studied in fish and marine invertebrates, but the literature is scarce for terrestrial species. We experimentally induced tail autotomy in a lizard (Niveoscincus ocellatus) and assessed relative telomere length (RTL) in blood samples before and after partial tail regeneration while concurrently measuring reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels. The change in ROS levels was a significant explanatory variable for the change in RTL over the 60-day experiment. At the average value of ROS change, the mean RTL increased significantly in the control group (intact tails), but there was no such evidence in the regenerating group. By contrast, ROS levels decreased significantly in the regenerating group, but there was no such evidence in the control group. Combined, these results suggest that tail regeneration following autotomy involves a response to oxidative stress and this potentially comes at a cost to telomere repair. This change in telomere maintenance demonstrates a potential long-term cost of tail regeneration beyond the regrowth of tissue itself.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:oxidative stress, telomere dynamics, tissue regeneration, autotomy, reptile, ectotherm
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Evolutionary biology
Research Field:Biogeography and phylogeography
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences
UTAS Author:Fitzpatrick, LJ (Ms Luisa Fitzpatrick)
UTAS Author:Parsley, LM (Dr Laura Parsley)
UTAS Author:While, GM (Dr Geoff While)
UTAS Author:Wapstra, E (Associate Professor Erik Wapstra)
ID Code:133803
Year Published:2019
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DE150100336)
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2019-07-10
Last Modified:2020-07-22

Repository Staff Only: item control page