Stability and plasticity of positional memory during limb regeneration in Ambystoma mexicanum

Reiko Iwata, Aki Makanae, Akira Satoh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Urodele amphibians are capable of regenerating their organs after severe damage. During such regeneration, participating cells are given differentiation instructions by the surrounding cells. Limb regeneration has been investigated as a representative phenomenon of organ regeneration. Cells known as blastema cells are induced after limb amputation. In this process, dermal fibroblasts are dedifferentiated and become undifferentiated similar to limb bud cells. Just like limb bud cells, the induced blastema cells are positioned along the three limb developmental axes: the dorsoventral, the anteroposterior, and the proximodistal. The accurate developmental axes are essential for reforming the structures correctly. Despite the importance of the developmental axes, the relationship between the newly establishing developmental axes and existing limb axes was not well described with molecular markers. Results: In this study, we grafted skin from GFP-transgenic axolotls and traced the cell lineage with position-specific gene expressions in order to investigate the correlation of the newly established axes and cellular origin. Shh- and Lmx1b-expressing cells emerged from the posterior skin and dorsal skin, respectively, even though the skin was transplanted to an inconsistent position. Shox2, a posterior marker gene, could be activated in cells derived from distal skin. Conclusions: Our results suggest that the location memories on anteroposterior and dorsoventral axes are relatively stable in a regenerating blastema though cellular differentiation is reprogrammed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-353
Number of pages12
JournalDevelopmental Dynamics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2020


  • Lmx1b
  • Shh
  • Shox2
  • amphibian
  • limb regeneration
  • positional memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology


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