[Frontiers in Bioscience E5, 479-489, January 1, 2013]
Histogenetic aspects of deer antler development
1AgResearch Invermay Agricultural Centre, Private Bag 50034, Mosgiel, New Zealand,2State Kay Laboratory for Molecular Biology of Special Economic Animals, Changchun, China
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Deer antlers are the only mammalian organs that, once lost, can fully grow back; therefore, they offer a unique opportunity for investigating the mechanism underlying mammalian organ regeneration. This review summarizes the current knowledge of antler histogenesis. The axis of a pedicle (antecedent of antler) and a first antler consists of an internal component and an external component. Formation of the internal component commences from the proliferation of antlerogenic periosteal cells and undergoes 4 ossification stages: Formation of the external component goes through 3 distinguishable stages. Antler velvet transformation is mainly associated with alteration in the skin appendages. Subsequent antler regeneration is divided into 5 stages. The present account, together with the companion paper on antler morphogenesis in this special issue (E4, 1836-1842), provides a foundation for further mechanistic study of this fascinating model for mammalian organ regeneration.