Analysis of gene expressions during Xenopus forelimb regeneration

Tetsuya Endo, Koji Tamura, Hiroyuki Ide

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122 Citations (Scopus)


Xenopus laevis can regenerate an amputated limb completely at early limb bud stages, but the metamorphosed froglet gradually loses this capacity and can regenerate only a spike-like structure. We show that the spike formation in a Xenopus froglet is nerve dependent as is limb regeneration in urodeles, since denervation concomitant with amputation is sufficient to inhibit the initiation of blastema formation and fgf8 expression in the epidermis. Furthermore, in order to determine the cause of the reduction in regenerative capacity, we examined the expression patterns of several key genes for limb patterning during the spike-like structure formation, and we compared them with those in developing and regenerating limb buds that produce a complete limb structure. We cloned Xenopus HoxA13, a marker of the prospective autopodium region, and the expression pattern suggested that the spike-like structure in froglets is accompanied by elongation and patterning along the proximodistal (PD) axis. On the other hand, shh expression was not detected in the froglet blastema, which expresses fgf8 and msx1. Thus, although the wound epidermis probably induces outgrowth of the froglet blastema, the polarizing activity that organizes the anteroposterior (AP) axis formation is likely to be absent there. Our results demonstrate that the lost region in froglet limbs is regenerated along the PD axis and that the failure of organization of the AP pattern gives rise to a spike-like incomplete structure in the froglet, suggesting a relationship between regenerative capacity and AP patterning. These findings lead us to conclude that the spike formation in postometamorphic Xenopus limbs is epimorphic regeneration. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-306
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Apr 15


  • Hox
  • Limb
  • Msx
  • Nerve
  • Regeneration
  • Shh
  • Xenopus


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