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Dev Dyn. 1993 Oct;198(2):77-85.

Test of a model for the effects of retinoic acid on urodele limb regeneration.

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  • 1Department of Cell and Structural Biology, University of Illinois, Urbana 61801.


Previous studies have shown that in axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum), retinoic acid (RA) treatment evokes pattern completion in limb regenerates derived from anterior and dorsal half zeugopodia (lower arms and legs), but causes regenerative failure in posterior and ventral half zeugopodia. Pattern completion in anterior and dorsal half limbs may be explained by postulating that intercalary regeneration occurs in the antero-posterior (AP) and dorsoventral (DV) axes between blastema cells that are posteriorized (anterior half limb) or ventralized (dorsal half limb) by RA, and circumferential anterodorsal cells that remain unaffected by RA and thus maintain their original positional identities. The contrasting regenerative failure of RA-treated posterior and ventral half zeugopodia may likewise be explained by postulating that all the blastema cells in the posterior half are posteriorized, and all the cells in the ventral half are ventralized by RA, thus eliminating differentials in transverse positional identity essential for blastema formation and outgrowth. To test these postulates we grafted blastemas derived from limbs halved in the AP and DV axes of control and RA-treated animals to untreated whole limb stumps and analyzed the patterns of supernumerary (SN) regeneration. The site or location of SN formation will demonstrate (1) whether RA has posteriorized and ventralized the positional identity of the blastema cells and (2) if blastema cells in the periphery of the anterodorsal quadrant of the limb are resistant to these RA-induced changes in positional identity.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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