Transdifferentiation in developmental biology, disease, and in therapy

Authors

  • Shifaan Thowfeequ,

    1. Centre for Regenerative Medicine, Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath, United Kingdom
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  • Emily-Jane Myatt,

    1. Centre for Regenerative Medicine, Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath, United Kingdom
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  • David Tosh

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre for Regenerative Medicine, Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath, United Kingdom
    • Centre for Regenerative Medicine, Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath BA2 7AY, UK
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Abstract

Transdifferentiation (or metaplasia) refers to the conversion of one cell type to another. Because transdifferentiation normally occurs between cells that arise from the same region of the embryo, understanding the molecular and cellular events in cell type transformations may help to explain the mechanisms underlying normal development. Here we review examples of transdifferentiation in nature focusing on the possible role of cell type switching in metamorphosis and regeneration. We also examine transdifferentiation in mammals in relation to disease and the use of transdifferentiated cells in cellular therapy. Developmental Dynamics 236:3208–3217, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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