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Stage-dependent effects of retinoic acid on regenerating urodele limbs

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Following amputation through the distal zeugopodium, regenerating limbs of larvalAmbystoma mexicanum and pre and post-metamorphicPleurodeles waltlii were treated with 150 μg of retinoic acid (RA) per gram of body weight, at the dedifferentiation, early bud, medium bud, late bud or early redifferentiation stages of regeneration. The effect of RA on regenerate morphogenesis differed as a function of the stage at which it was administered. When given during dedifferentiation or at early bud stages, RA evoked proximodistal duplications of stump segments in the regenerates. The maximum duplication index (DI) inAbystoma was achieved when RA was injected at 4 days post-amputation, which corresponds to the stage of dedifferentiation; and inPleurodeles at 10 days post-amputation, which corresponds to a stage midway between early bud and medium bud. When RA was administered at later stages, the DI declined progressively to zero or nearly zero by the stage of early redifferentiation in both species. The decline in DI was due to a decreased frequency of duplication, not to a decrease in the magnitude of duplication in individual regenerates. At the same time, there was an increase in hypomorphism and aberrant morphogenesis of both duplicating and non-duplicating regenerates. These results indicate that regenerative cells are differentially sensitive to RA in a stage-dependent way.

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Correspondence to David L. Stocum.

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Niazi, I.A., Pescitelli, M.J. & Stocum, D.L. Stage-dependent effects of retinoic acid on regenerating urodele limbs. Wilhelm Roux' Archiv 194, 355–363 (1985). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00877373

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Key words

  • Retinoid
  • Limb regeneration
  • Pattern effects