Teleost fish are unique in that they are able to regenerate many different types of tissues throughout their lives, including cardiac, retinal, and renal (kidney) tissues. Many of these regenerative abilities occur through the action of stem-cell like populations. Identifying stem cells in fish may help researchers identify analogous cells in human tissues.
The ability of some fish to regenerate renal tissues is particularly interesting because there is currently no known kidney or nephron (the functional unit of kidneys) “stem cell” in humans. A recent paper looked at using zebrafish to try to identify nephron stem cells.
To find out more, check out my latest post for the Stem Cell Network.