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Dev Dyn. 2009 Jun;238(6):1366-78. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.21923.

Overexpression of the transcription factor Msx1 is insufficient to drive complete regeneration of refractory stage Xenopus laevis hindlimbs.

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  • 1Department of Zoology and Genetics Otago, University of Otago, New Zealand.


Xenopus laevis tadpoles are capable of hindlimb regeneration, although this ability declines with age. Bmp signaling is one pathway known to be necessary for successful regeneration to occur. Using an inducible transgenic line containing an activated version of the Bmp target Msx1, we assessed the ability of this transcription factor to enhance regeneration in older limbs. Despite considerable evidence correlating msx1 expression with regenerative success in vertebrate regeneration models, we show that induction of msx1 during hindlimb regeneration fails to induce complete regeneration. However, we did observe some improvement in regenerative outcome, linked to morphological changes in the early wound epithelium and a corresponding increase in proliferation in the underlying distal mesenchyme, neither of which are maintained later. Additionally, we show that Msx1 is not able to rescue limb regeneration in a Bmp signalling-deficient background, indicating that additional Bmp targets are required for regeneration in anuran limbs. Developmental Dynamics 238:1366-1378, 2009. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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