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J Exp Zool July 1, 1999; 284 (2): 188-96.

Nerve-independence of limb regeneration in larval Xenopus laevis is related to the presence of mitogenic factors in early limb tissues.

Filoni S , Bernardini S , Cannata SM , Ghittoni R .

Early limbs of larval Xenopus laevis can form a regeneration blastema in the absence of nerves. The nerve-independence could be due to the synthesis of neurotrophic-like factors by the limb bud cells. To test this hypothesis, two series of experiments were performed. Series A: the right hindlimbs of stage 57 larvae (acc. to Nieuwkoop and Faber. 1956. Normal table of Xenopus laevis [Daudin]. Amsterdam: North-Holland Pub. Co.), which are nerve-dependent for regeneration, were amputated through the tarsalia. The regenerating limbs were submitted to: sham denervation; denervation; denervation and implantation of a fragment of an early limb, or a late limb, or a spinal cord. Series B: froglets were subjected to amputation of both forelimbs. The cone blastemas were transplanted into denervated hindlimbs of stage 57 larvae, together with a fragment of an early or a late limb. The results in series A showed that the implantation of early limb tissue into the denervated blastema maintained cell proliferation at levels similar to those observed after the implantation of a spinal cord fragment or in sham denervated blastemas. However, the implantation of late limb tissues were ineffective. The results of series B showed that the implantation of early limb tissue, but not of late limb tissue prevented the inhibition of cell proliferation and the regression of denervated limb blastemas of juveniles. These results indicate that the nerve-independence is related to the synthesis of diffusible mitogenic neurotrophic-like factors in early limb tissues, and that nerve-dependence is established when differentiated cells of late limb tissues stop producing these factors.

PubMed ID: 10404647
Article link: J Exp Zool