Bryant DM, Sousounis K, Farkas JE, Bryant S, Thao N, Guzikowski AR, Monaghan JR, Levin M, Whited JL. 2017. Repeated removal of developing limb buds permanently reduces appendage size in the highly-regenerative axolotl. Developmental biology. 424(1):1-9. Pubmed: 28235582 DOI:S0012-1606(16)30873-9


Matching appendage size to body size is fundamental to animal function. Generating an appropriately-sized appendage is a robust process executed during development which is also critical for regeneration. When challenged, larger animals are programmed to regenerate larger limbs than smaller animals within a single species. Understanding this process has important implications for regenerative medicine. To approach this complex question, models with altered appendage size:body size ratios are required. We hypothesized that repeatedly challenging axolotls to regrow limb buds would affect their developmental program resulting in altered target morphology. We discovered that after 10 months following this experimental procedure, limbs that developed were permanently miniaturized. This altered target morphology was preserved upon amputation and regeneration. Future experiments using this platform should provide critical information about how target limb size is encoded within limb progenitors.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Jessica Whited studies limb regeneration in axolotl salamanders. Her lab develops tools to manipulate gene expression during limb regeneration, and explores signaling events following wound healing that initiate the regenerative process.

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