Regeneration of missing body parts is an incredible ability which is present in a wide number of species. However, this regenerative capability varies among different organisms. Urodeles (salamanders) are able to completely regenerate limbs after amputation through the essential process of blastema formation. The blastema is a collection of relatively undifferentiated progenitor cells that proliferate and repattern to form the internal tissues of a regenerated limb. Understanding blastema formation in salamanders may enable comparative studies with other animals, including mammals, with more limited regenerative abilities and may inspire future therapeutic approaches in humans. This review focuses on the current state of knowledge about how limb blastemas form in salamanders, highlighting both the possible roles of epigenetic controls in this process as well as limitations to scientific understanding that present opportunities for research.
Copyright © 2023 The Authors. Published by 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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