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J Biophys Biochem Cytol. 1958 Sep 25; 4(5): 583–592.
PMCID: PMC2224557

The Fine Structure of Blastema Cells and Differentiating Cartilage Cells in Regenerating Limbs of Amblystoma Larvae


Regenerating forelimbs of larval salamanders, Amblystoma punctatum, were fixed in OsO4 at various intervals after amputation and were sectioned for study with the electron microscope. The dedifferentiated cells comprising the early blastema were found to have a fine structure similar to that of other undifferentiated cells and to have lost all of the identifying morphological features of their tissues of origin. The cytoplasm of such cells is characterized by numerous free ribonucleoprotein granules and a discontinuous vesicular endoplasmic reticulum. The cells have more abundant cytoplasm and are in closer contact with each other than was previously realized. The layer of condensed ground substance investing most differentiated cell types is lacking. After a period of rapid cell division, the morphology of the blastema cell changes. Cytoplasm is now sparse and contains a high concentration of free ribonucleoprotein granules, but little endoplasmic reticulum. The differentiating cartilage cell, however, develops an extensive, highly organized endoplasmic reticulum and the Golgi apparatus also appears to become more highly differentiated and more extensive at this time. Small vesicles appear throughout the cytoplasm at the time the new cisternae originate and may contribute to their formation. These and other changes in the cytoplasmic organelles are discussed.

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Selected References

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