Lens regeneration among vertebrates is basically restricted to some amphibians. The most notable cases are the ones that occur in premetamorphic frogs and in adult newts. Frogs and newts regenerate their lens in very different ways. In frogs the lens is regenerated by transdifferentiation of the cornea and is limited only to a time before metamorphosis. On the other hand, regeneration in newts is mediated by transdifferentiation of the pigment epithelial cells of the dorsal iris and is possible in adult animals as well. Thus, the study of both systems could provide important information about the process. Molecular tools have been developed in frogs and recently also in newts. Thus, the process has been studied at the molecular and cellular levels. A synthesis describing both systems was long due. In this review we describe the process in both Xenopus and the newt. The known molecular mechanisms are described and compared. © 2010.
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