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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Oct 1977; 74(10): 4528–4532.
PMCID: PMC431978

Bioelectricity and regeneration: large currents leave the stumps of regenerating newt limbs.


Electrical currents near regenerating newt limbs were measured with a recently developed vibrating probe. Steady currents with local surface densities of 10 to 100 muA/cm2 or more leave the end of the stump during the first 5-10 days after amputation and are balanced by currents with densities of only 1-3 muA/cm2 that enter the intact skin around the stump. They are immediately dependent upon the entry of sodium ions into this skin and are therefore inferred to be skin-driven. The outward currents are comparable in direction, density, duration, and position to artificially imposed currents previously found sufficient to induce significant regeneration of amputated adult frog limbs. This comparison suggests that the endogenous stump currents play some causal role in initiating regeneration.

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Selected References

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