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Histochemistry. 1994 Jul;101(6):397-404.

Body-specific proliferation of adult precursor cells in Xenopus larval epidermis.

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  • 1Department of Biology, School of Dental Medicine, Tsurumi University, Yokohama, Japan.


Cell proliferation was examined in the back and tail epidermis of larval Xenopus laevis using bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU). The BrdU labeling index of the back epidermis increased temporally at stage 59, followed by a rapid decrease to the same level as at stage 51. epidermis produced a new epidermal layer composed of basal cells. In vitro analysis showed that tri-iodothyronine (T3) promotes cell proliferation of basal cells but suppresses that of skein cells. Immunohistochemical studies showed that the newly formed basal cell layer functions as adult precursor cells which produce the adult epidermal cells. In contrast to the back epidermis, the labeling index of the tail epidermis decreased from stage 57. However, when the tail skin was transplanted to the back area, cell proliferation in the tail epidermis increased to the same level as that of the normal back epidermis. Cell proliferation of the back epidermis was not suppressed by transplanting the skin to the tail area. These results suggest that some promoting factors are produced in the body region and regulate the number of adult precursor cells, which determine the developmental fate of the larval skin.

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