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Limb regeneration of the adult newt (Notophthalmus viridescens) in the absence of the spleen


It has been suggested that the immune system might figure prominently in the regulation of forelimb regeneration. However, neither the nature of this influence nor the aspect(s) of regeneration influenced are clearly known. The determination of which components of the immune system are indispensable for regeneration would be a logical first step in attempting to address such questions. This investigation, therefore, examined the effects of removing the spleen, a major lymphoid organ in the newt, upon the progress of regeneration. Splenectomies performed concomitantly with or after forelimb amputation failed to alter the time course of regeneration. Splenectomies, but not sham-splenectomies, performed prior to amputation reduced the time required to achieve successive stages of regeneration under some, but not all conditions, i.e., when performed 10–20 days before amputation, during the late fall and winter. Up until 35 days after amputation, no gross morphological distortions were observed as a result of splenectomy. It was concluded that the spleen is not required for regeneration to occur.

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Portions of this work constitute part of the thesis submitted by M.E. Fini in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the M.S. degree in Biology at Boston College

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Fini, M.E., Sicard, R.E. Limb regeneration of the adult newt (Notophthalmus viridescens) in the absence of the spleen. Wilhelm Roux' Archiv 189, 77–79 (1980). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00848570

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Key words

  • Immune system
  • Spleen
  • Regeneration
  • Notophthalmus viridescens