Sample records for axolotl

  1. Pseudotyped retroviruses for infecting axolotl.

    Kuo, Tzu-Hsing; Whited, Jessica L


    The ability to introduce DNA elements into host cells and analyze the effects has revolutionized modern biology. Here we describe a protocol to generate Moloney murine leukemia virus (MMLV)-based, replication-incompetent pseudotyped retrovirus capable of infecting axolotls and incorporating genetic information into their genome. When pseudotyped with vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV)-G glycoprotein, the retroviruses can infect a broad range of proliferative axolotl cell types. However, if the retrovirus is pseudotyped with an avian sarcoma leukosis virus (ASLV)-A envelope protein, only axolotl cells experimentally manipulated to express the cognate tumor virus A (TVA) receptor can be targeted by infections. These strategies enable robust transgene expression over many cell divisions, cell lineage tracing, and cell subtype targeting for gene expression. PMID:25740482

  2. The Mexican Axolotl in Schools

    Thomas, R. M.


    Suggests and describes laboratory activities in which the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum Shaw) is used, including experiments in embryology and early development, growth and regeneration, neoteny and metamorphosis, genetics and coloration, anatomy and physiology, and behavior. Discusses care and maintenance of animals. (CS)

  3. Generation of axolotl hematopoietic chimeras

    David Lopez


    Full Text Available Wound repair is an extremely complex process that requires precise coordination between various cell types including immune cells.  Unfortunately, in mammals this usually results in scar formation instead of restoration of the original fully functional tissue, otherwise known as regeneration.  Various animal models like frogs and salamanders are currently being studied to determine the intracellular and intercellular pathways, controlled by gene expression, that elicit cell proliferation, differentiation, and migration of cells during regenerative healing.  Now, the necessary genetic tools to map regenerative pathways are becoming available for the axolotl salamander, thus allowing comparative studies between scarring and regeneration.  Here, we describe in detail three methods to produce axolotl hematopoietic cell-tagged chimeras for the study of hematopoiesis and regeneration.

  4. Structure and diversity of Mexican axolotl lambda light chains.

    André, S; Guillet, F; Charlemagne, J; Fellah, J S


    We report here the structure of cDNA clones encoding axolotl light chains of the lambda type. A single IGLC gene and eight different potential IGLV genes belonging to four different families were detected. The axolotl Cgamma domain has several residues or stretches of residues that are typically conserved in mammalian, avian, and Xenopus Cgamma, but the KATLVCL stretch, which is well conserved in the Cgamma and T-cell receptor Cbeta domains of many vertebrate species, is not well conserved. All axolotl Vgamma sequences closely match several human and Xenopus Vgamma-like sequences and, although the axolotl Cgamma and Vgamma sequences are very like their tetrapod homologues, they are not closely related to nontetrapod L chains. Southern blot experiments suggested the presence of a single IGLC gene and of a limited number of IGLV genes, and analysis of IGLV-J junctions clearly indicated that at least three of the IGLJ segments can associate with IGLV1, IGLV2, or IGLV3 subgroup genes. The overall diversity of the axolotl Vgamma CDR3 junctions seems to be of the same order as that of mammalian Vgamma chains. However, a single IGLV4 segment was found among the 45 cDNAs analyzed. This suggests that the axolotl IGL locus may have a canonical tandem structure, like the mammalian IGK or IGH loci. Immunofluorescence, immunoblotting, and microsequencing experiments strongly suggested that most, if not all L chains are of the gamma type. This may explain in part the poor humoral response of the axolotl. PMID:11132150

  5. Lens regeneration in axolotl: new evidence of developmental plasticity

    Suetsugu-Maki Rinako


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Among vertebrates lens regeneration is most pronounced in newts, which have the ability to regenerate the entire lens throughout their lives. Regeneration occurs from the dorsal iris by transdifferentiation of the pigment epithelial cells. Interestingly, the ventral iris never contributes to regeneration. Frogs have limited lens regeneration capacity elicited from the cornea during pre-metamorphic stages. The axolotl is another salamander which, like the newt, regenerates its limbs or its tail with the spinal cord, but up until now all reports have shown that it does not regenerate the lens. Results Here we present a detailed analysis during different stages of axolotl development, and we show that despite previous beliefs the axolotl does regenerate the lens, however, only during a limited time after hatching. We have found that starting at stage 44 (forelimb bud stage lens regeneration is possible for nearly two weeks. Regeneration occurs from the iris but, in contrast to the newt, regeneration can be elicited from either the dorsal or the ventral iris and, occasionally, even from both in the same eye. Similar studies in the zebra fish concluded that lens regeneration is not possible. Conclusions Regeneration of the lens is possible in the axolotl, but differs from both frogs and newts. Thus the axolotl iris provides a novel and more plastic strategy for lens regeneration.

  6. Continuous growth of the motor system in the axolotl

    Holder, N.; Clarke, J.D.; Stephens, N.; Wilson, S.W.; Orsi, C.; Bloomer, T.; Tonge, D.A. (King' s College, London (England))


    During growth of the axolotl, motor neurons, and muscle fibres are added to the motor system. By double labelling neurons with tritiated thymidine and retrogradely transported HRP, we show that some motor neurons are born at postembryonic stages. Further analysis of motor neurons with the aid of HRP reveals this population of newly born cells relatively frequently in small (5-7 cm long) axolotls, but only rarely in large (7-13 cm long) axolotls. Evidence is presented that suggests that these immature cells are in the process of migrating from close to the ependyma out to the ventral horn. HRP transport also reveals growth cones of advancing axons within spinal nerves in animals up to 6 cm in length. Cell counts by light and electron microscopic methods show that muscle fibres are generated throughout larval life in the iliotibialis, a typical limb muscle. This analysis provides data consistent with the notion that new muscle fibres are added from a localised growth zone situated at the superficial edge of the muscle. These results are discussed in terms of the correlation between continuous growth of the motor system and the ability of the axolotl to functionally repair lesions to the peripheral nervous system.

  7. Structure and developmental expression of Ikaros in the Mexican axolotl.

    Durand, C; Charlemagne, J; Fellah, J S


    The Ikaros family of transcription factors plays an essential role in hematopoiesis. We report here the structure of cDNA clones encoding two Ikaros isoforms, Ikl and Ik2, in the Mexican axolotl. The Ik1 cDNA sequence is very similar to that of the rainbow trout, chicken, and mammalian Ik1 sequences. However, a 96 base pair region which encodes the first N-terminal zing finger (F1) is lacking from axolotl Ik1, both in clones from a cDNA library and clones isolated from direct polymerase chain reaction products. A region corresponding to exon 3 is completely absent from the axolotl Ik2 sequence and thus the Ik1 and Ik2 isoforms possess the same number of zinc finger motifs. The structure of these five CC-HH motifs is very well conserved in the axolotl, including the structural deviations from its amino acid consensus composition which are identical in all species analyzed to date. The axolotl Ik1 3' untranslated region sequence is very long (2538 bp) and contains two UA-rich motifs known as instability determinants and which could play a role in mRNA translational efficiency. Ikaros transcripts are first detected in the ventral blood island of stage 36 embryos, about 24 h before the first heartbeats (late tailbud stage), and then in the major lymphopoietic organs of the developing larvae. In situ hybridization demonstrates that Ikaros transcripts are abundant at the periphery of the thymus lobes, in the presumptive site of early thymocyte differentiation. PMID:10630298

  8. Regeneration of limb joints in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Jangwoo Lee

    Full Text Available In spite of numerous investigations of regenerating salamander limbs, little attention has been paid to the details of how joints are reformed. An understanding of the process and mechanisms of joint regeneration in this model system for tetrapod limb regeneration would provide insights into developing novel therapies for inducing joint regeneration in humans. To this end, we have used the axolotl (Mexican Salamander model of limb regeneration to describe the morphology and the expression patterns of marker genes during joint regeneration in response to limb amputation. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that the mechanisms of joint formation whether it be development or regeneration are conserved. We also have determined that defects in the epiphyseal region of both forelimbs and hind limbs in the axolotl are regenerated only when the defect is small. As is the case with defects in the diaphysis, there is a critical size above which the endogenous regenerative response is not sufficient to regenerate the joint. This non-regenerative response in an animal that has the ability to regenerate perfectly provides the opportunity to screen for the signaling pathways to induce regeneration of articular cartilage and joints.

  9. Network based transcription factor analysis of regenerating axolotl limbs

    Cameron Jo Ann


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Studies on amphibian limb regeneration began in the early 1700's but we still do not completely understand the cellular and molecular events of this unique process. Understanding a complex biological process such as limb regeneration is more complicated than the knowledge of the individual genes or proteins involved. Here we followed a systems biology approach in an effort to construct the networks and pathways of protein interactions involved in formation of the accumulation blastema in regenerating axolotl limbs. Results We used the human orthologs of proteins previously identified by our research team as bait to identify the transcription factor (TF pathways and networks that regulate blastema formation in amputated axolotl limbs. The five most connected factors, c-Myc, SP1, HNF4A, ESR1 and p53 regulate ~50% of the proteins in our data. Among these, c-Myc and SP1 regulate 36.2% of the proteins. c-Myc was the most highly connected TF (71 targets. Network analysis showed that TGF-β1 and fibronectin (FN lead to the activation of these TFs. We found that other TFs known to be involved in epigenetic reprogramming, such as Klf4, Oct4, and Lin28 are also connected to c-Myc and SP1. Conclusions Our study provides a systems biology approach to how different molecular entities inter-connect with each other during the formation of an accumulation blastema in regenerating axolotl limbs. This approach provides an in silico methodology to identify proteins that are not detected by experimental methods such as proteomics but are potentially important to blastema formation. We found that the TFs, c-Myc and SP1 and their target genes could potentially play a central role in limb regeneration. Systems biology has the potential to map out numerous other pathways that are crucial to blastema formation in regeneration-competent limbs, to compare these to the pathways that characterize regeneration-deficient limbs and finally, to identify stem

  10. Transforming growth factor: beta signaling is essential for limb regeneration in axolotls.

    Mathieu Lévesque

    Full Text Available Axolotls (urodele amphibians have the unique ability, among vertebrates, to perfectly regenerate many parts of their body including limbs, tail, jaw and spinal cord following injury or amputation. The axolotl limb is the most widely used structure as an experimental model to study tissue regeneration. The process is well characterized, requiring multiple cellular and molecular mechanisms. The preparation phase represents the first part of the regeneration process which includes wound healing, cellular migration, dedifferentiation and proliferation. The redevelopment phase represents the second part when dedifferentiated cells stop proliferating and redifferentiate to give rise to all missing structures. In the axolotl, when a limb is amputated, the missing or wounded part is regenerated perfectly without scar formation between the stump and the regenerated structure. Multiple authors have recently highlighted the similarities between the early phases of mammalian wound healing and urodele limb regeneration. In mammals, one very important family of growth factors implicated in the control of almost all aspects of wound healing is the transforming growth factor-beta family (TGF-beta. In the present study, the full length sequence of the axolotl TGF-beta1 cDNA was isolated. The spatio-temporal expression pattern of TGF-beta1 in regenerating limbs shows that this gene is up-regulated during the preparation phase of regeneration. Our results also demonstrate the presence of multiple components of the TGF-beta signaling machinery in axolotl cells. By using a specific pharmacological inhibitor of TGF-beta type I receptor, SB-431542, we show that TGF-beta signaling is required for axolotl limb regeneration. Treatment of regenerating limbs with SB-431542 reveals that cellular proliferation during limb regeneration as well as the expression of genes directly dependent on TGF-beta signaling are down-regulated. These data directly implicate TGF

  11. Structure and diversity of the heavy chain VDJ junctions in the developing Mexican axolotl.

    Golub, R; Fellah, J S; Charlemagne, J


    The immune capacity of young and adult axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) was evaluated by examining the combinatorial and junctional diversity of the VH chain. A large number of VDJ rearrangements isolated from 2.5-, 3.5-, 10-, and 24-month-old animals were sequenced. Six JH segments were identified with the canonical structure of all known vertebrate JHs, including the conserved Trp103-Gly104-X-Gly106 motif. Four core DH-like sequences were used by most (80%) of the VDJ junctions. These G-rich sequences had structures reminiscent of the TCRB DB sequences, and were equally used in their three reading frames. About 25% of the Igh, VDJ junctions from 3.5-month-old axolotls were out of frame, but most rearrangements were in frame at 10 and 24 months, suggesting that there is active selection of the productively rearranged Igh chains in the developing animals. There was no significant difference between the size of CDR3 in young (3.5 months) and subadult (10 months) axolotls (mean: 8.5 amino acids). However, the CDR3 loop was 1 amino acid longer in 2-year-old adult animals (mean: 9.5 residues). Several pairs of identical VDJ/CDR3 sequences were shared between 3.5-month-old individually analyzed axolotls, or between groups of axolotl of different ages. These identical rearrangements might be provided by the selection of some B-cell clones important for species survival, although the probability that different 3.5-month-old axolotl larvae would produce identical junctions seems very low, considering their limited number of B cells (less than 10(5)). The high frequency of tyrosine residues and the paucity of charged residues in the axolotl CDR3 loops may explain the polyreactivity of natural antibodies, and also clarify why it is so difficult to raise specific antibodies against soluble antigens. PMID:9271630

  12. Proteinaceous Pheromone Homologs Identified from the Cloacal Gland Transcriptome of a Male Axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Kevin W Hall

    Full Text Available Pheromones play an important role in modifying vertebrate behavior, especially during courtship and mating. Courtship behavior in urodele amphibians often includes female exposure to secretions from the cloacal gland, as well as other scent glands. The first vertebrate proteinaceous pheromone discovered, the decapeptide sodefrin, is a female attracting pheromone secreted by the cloacal gland of male Cynops pyrrhogaster. Other proteinaceous pheromones in salamanders have been shown to elicit responses from females towards conspecific males. The presence and levels of expression of proteinaceous pheromones have not been identified in the family Ambystomatidae, which includes several important research models. The objective of this research was therefore to identify putative proteinaceous pheromones from male axolotls, Ambystoma mexicanum, as well as their relative expression levels. The results indicate that axolotls possess two different forms of sodefrin precursor-like factor (alpha and beta, as well as a putative ortholog of plethodontid modulating factor. The beta form of sodefrin precursor-like factor was amongst the most highly expressed transcripts within the cloacal gland. The ortholog of plethodontid modulating factor was expressed at a level equivalent to the beta sodefrin precursor-like factor. The results are from a single male axolotl; therefore, we are unable to assess how representative our results may be. Nevertheless, the presence of these highly expressed proteinaceous pheromones suggests that male axolotls use multiple chemical cues to attract female conspecifics. Behavioral assays would indicate whether the putative protein pheromones elicit courtship activity from female axolotls.

  13. Adult axolotls can regenerate original neuronal diversity in response to brain injury.

    Amamoto, Ryoji; Huerta, Violeta Gisselle Lopez; Takahashi, Emi; Dai, Guangping; Grant, Aaron K; Fu, Zhanyan; Arlotta, Paola


    The axolotl can regenerate multiple organs, including the brain. It remains, however, unclear whether neuronal diversity, intricate tissue architecture, and axonal connectivity can be regenerated; yet, this is critical for recovery of function and a central aim of cell replacement strategies in the mammalian central nervous system. Here, we demonstrate that, upon mechanical injury to the adult pallium, axolotls can regenerate several of the populations of neurons present before injury. Notably, regenerated neurons acquire functional electrophysiological traits and respond appropriately to afferent inputs. Despite the ability to regenerate specific, molecularly-defined neuronal subtypes, we also uncovered previously unappreciated limitations by showing that newborn neurons organize within altered tissue architecture and fail to re-establish the long-distance axonal tracts and circuit physiology present before injury. The data provide a direct demonstration that diverse, electrophysiologically functional neurons can be regenerated in axolotls, but challenge prior assumptions of functional brain repair in regenerative species. PMID:27156560

  14. MARCKS-like protein is an initiating molecule in axolotl appendage regeneration.

    Sugiura, Takuji; Wang, Heng; Barsacchi, Rico; Simon, Andras; Tanaka, Elly M


    Identifying key molecules that launch regeneration has been a long-sought goal. Multiple regenerative animals show an initial wound-associated proliferative response that transits into sustained proliferation if a considerable portion of the body part has been removed. In the axolotl, appendage amputation initiates a round of wound-associated cell cycle induction followed by continued proliferation that is dependent on nerve-derived signals. A wound-associated molecule that triggers the initial proliferative response to launch regeneration has remained obscure. Here, using an expression cloning strategy followed by in vivo gain- and loss-of-function assays, we identified axolotl MARCKS-like protein (MLP) as an extracellularly released factor that induces the initial cell cycle response during axolotl appendage regeneration. The identification of a regeneration-initiating molecule opens the possibility of understanding how to elicit regeneration in other animals. PMID:26934225

  15. RAG expression is restricted to the first year of life in the Mexican axolotl.

    Durand, C; Charlemagne, J; Fellah, J S


    The developmental expression of the RAG1 gene in the Mexican axolotl hematopoietic organs was studied. RAG1 mRNAs were first detected in trunk extracts from 6-week-old larvae, and in head and trunk extracts of 8- and 9-week-old larvae. RAG1 is expressed in the thymus at all stages of development, until its natural involution after 12 months of age. In contrast, although RAG1 transcripts were present in the spleen and liver of the young larvae, they were not detected in the liver after 4.5 months and in the spleen after 8 months. No RAG1 mRNA expression was observed in the spleens or livers of 24-month-old hyperimmunized axolotls. The developmental expression of the RAG2 protein was also analyzed in axolotl thymus, spleen, and liver extracts using specific anti-RAG2 antibodies. RAG2 was readily detected at 7 months, but not in hematopoietic organs of 12- and 24-month-old axolotls. The presence of RAG1 transcripts was limited to the sub-capsular area of the thymus lobes, as detected by in situ hybridization. Discrete clusters of labeled cells were observed in the spleen sections, and a relatively large number of labeled cells were located in the hepatic peripheral hematopoietic layer of 3-month-old axolotls. The first appearance of RAG1 gene products in the axolotl hematopoietic organs is thus well correlated with the first production of rearranged T-cell and B-cell receptor mRNAs, 40-60 days after fertilization. PMID:10941839

  16. Evolution of T cell receptor genes. Extensive diversity of V beta families in the Mexican axolotl.

    Fellah, J S; Kerfourn, F; Charlemagne, J


    We have cloned 36 different rearranged variable regions (V beta) genes encoding the beta-chain of the T cell receptor in an amphibian species, Ambystoma mexicanum (the Mexican axolotl). Eleven different V beta segments were identified, which can be classified into 9 families on the basis of a minimum of 75% nucleotide identity. All the cloned V beta segments have the canonical features of known mammalian and avian V beta, including conserved residues Cys23, Trp34, Arg69, Tyr90, and Cys92. There seems to be a greater genetic distance between the axolotl V beta families than between the different V beta families of any mammalian species examined to date: most of the axolotl V beta s have fewer than 35% identical nucleotides and the less related families (V beta 4 and V beta 8) have no more than 23.2% identity (13.5% at the amino acid level). Despite their great mutual divergence, several axolotl V beta are sequence-related to some mammalian V beta genes, like the human V beta 13 and V beta 20 segments and their murine V beta 8 and V beta 14 homologues. However, the axolotl V beta 8 and V beta 9 families are not significantly related to any other V beta sequence at the nucleotide level and show limited amino acid similarity to mammalian V alpha, V kappa III, or VH sequences. The detection of nine V beta families among 35 randomly cloned V beta segments suggests that the V beta gene repertoire in the axolotl is probably larger than presently estimated. PMID:7963525

  17. Axolotl/Bichos Raros Crónica

    Susana Chávez-Silverman


    Full Text Available In this crónica, I pay homage (and talk back to! one of my favourite authors, Julio Cortázar, who I had the great privilege and pleasure of befriending in 1980, when he was a visiting professor at UC-Berkeley. I have been obsessed with time-travel, doubling, and interstitiality since I was very young; even the most casual Cortázar reader (if such a thing is possible will immediately recognise these as recurrent themes in his work. Here, faced with several actual axolotl in a Buenos Aires aquarium, I explore and comment on Cortázar’s strangely mesmerising meditation on identity and transformation. My personal connection is (as in much of my writing concerned with aspects of gender and sexuality suppressed or (more likely ignored in Cortázar’s version. I identify, too, with a poignant in-betweenness and ambiguity I read in the figure of the axolotl—and in the work of Cortázar and Alejandra Pizarnik.

  18. Identification of Conserved and Novel MicroRNAs during Tail Regeneration in the Mexican Axolotl

    Micah D. Gearhart


    Full Text Available The Mexican axolotl salamander (Ambystoma mexicanum is one member of a select group of vertebrate animals that have retained the amazing ability to regenerate multiple body parts. In addition to being an important model system for regeneration, the axolotl has also contributed extensively to studies of basic development. While many genes known to play key roles during development have now been implicated in various forms of regeneration, much of the regulatory apparatus controlling the underlying molecular circuitry remains unknown. In recent years, microRNAs have been identified as key regulators of gene expression during development, in many diseases and also, increasingly, in regeneration. Here, we have used deep sequencing combined with qRT-PCR to undertake a comprehensive identification of microRNAs involved in regulating regeneration in the axolotl. Specifically, among the microRNAs that we have found to be expressed in axolotl tissues, we have identified 4564 microRNA families known to be widely conserved among vertebrates, as well as 59,811 reads of putative novel microRNAs. These findings support the hypothesis that microRNAs play key roles in managing the precise spatial and temporal patterns of gene expression that ensures the correct regeneration of missing tissues.

  19. Structure and diversity of the T-cell receptor alpha chain in the Mexican axolotl.

    Fellah, J S; Kerfourn, F; Dumay, A M; Aubet, G; Charlemagne, J


    Polymerase chain reaction was used to isolate cDNA clones encoding putative T-cell receptor (TCR) alpha chains in an amphibian, the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). Five TCRalpha-V chain-encoding segments were identified, each belonging to a separate family. The best identity scores for these axolotl TCRalpha-V segments were all provided by sequences belonging to the human TCRalpha-V1 family and the mouse TCRalpha-V3 and TCRalpha-V8 families. A total of 14 different TCRA-J segments were identified from 44 TCRA-V/TCRA-J regions sequenced, suggesting that a large repertoire of TCRA-J segments is a characteristic of most vertebrates. The structure of the axolotl CDR3 alpha chain loop is in good agreement with that of mammals, including a majority of small hydrophobic residues at position 92 and of charged, hydrophilic, or polar residues at positions 93 and 94, which are highly variable and correspond to the TCRA-V/J junction. This suggests that some positions of the axolotl CDR3 alpha chain loop are positively selected during T-cell differentiation, particularly around residue 93 that could be selected for its ability to makes contacts with major histocompatibility complex-associated antigenic peptides, as in mammals. The axolotl Calpha domain had the typical structure of mammalian and avian Calpha domains, including the charged residues in the TM segment that are thought to interact with other proteins in the membrane, as well as most of the residues forming the conserved antigen receptor transmembrane motif. PMID:9002443

  20. Long-duration muscle dedifferentiation during limb regeneration in axolotls.

    Cheng-Han Wu

    Full Text Available Although still debated, limb regeneration in salamanders is thought to depend on the dedifferentiation of remnant tissue occurring early after amputation and generating the progenitor cells that initiate regeneration. This dedifferentiation has been demonstrated previously by showing the fragmentation of muscle fibers into mononucleated cells and by revealing the contribution of mature muscle fibers to the regenerates by using lineage-tracing studies. Here, we provide additional evidence of dedifferentiation by showing that Pax7 (paired-box protein-7 transcripts are expressed at the ends of remnant muscle fibers in axolotls by using in situ hybridization and by demonstrating the presence of Pax7+ muscle-fiber nuclei in the early bud and mid-bud stages by means of immunohistochemical staining. During the course of regeneration, the remnant muscles did not progress; instead, muscle progenitors migrated out from the remnants and proliferated and differentiated in the new tissues at an early stage of differentiation. The regenerating muscles and remnant muscles were largely disconnected, and this left a gap between them until extremely late in the late stage of differentiation, at which point the new and old muscles connected together. Notably, Pax7 transcripts were detected in the regions of muscles that faced these gaps; thus, Pax7 expression might indicate dedifferentiation in the remnant-muscle ends and partial differentiation in the regenerating muscles. The roles of this long-duration dedifferentiation in the remnants remain unknown. However, the results presented here could support the hypothesis that long-duration muscle dedifferentiation facilitates the connection and fusion between the new and old muscles that are both in an immature state; this is because immature Pax7+ myoblasts readily fuse during developmental myogenesis.

  1. Proteomic analysis of blastema formation in regenerating axolotl limbs

    Nye Holly LD


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Following amputation, urodele salamander limbs reprogram somatic cells to form a blastema that self-organizes into the missing limb parts to restore the structure and function of the limb. To help understand the molecular basis of blastema formation, we used quantitative label-free liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS-based methods to analyze changes in the proteome that occurred 1, 4 and 7 days post amputation (dpa through the mid-tibia/fibula of axolotl hind limbs. Results We identified 309 unique proteins with significant fold change relative to controls (0 dpa, representing 10 biological process categories: (1 signaling, (2 Ca2+ binding and translocation, (3 transcription, (4 translation, (5 cytoskeleton, (6 extracellular matrix (ECM, (7 metabolism, (8 cell protection, (9 degradation, and (10 cell cycle. In all, 43 proteins exhibited exceptionally high fold changes. Of these, the ecotropic viral integrative factor 5 (EVI5, a cell cycle-related oncoprotein that prevents cells from entering the mitotic phase of the cell cycle prematurely, was of special interest because its fold change was exceptionally high throughout blastema formation. Conclusion Our data were consistent with previous studies indicating the importance of inositol triphosphate and Ca2+ signaling in initiating the ECM and cytoskeletal remodeling characteristic of histolysis and cell dedifferentiation. In addition, the data suggested that blastema formation requires several mechanisms to avoid apoptosis, including reduced metabolism, differential regulation of proapoptotic and antiapoptotic proteins, and initiation of an unfolded protein response (UPR. Since there is virtually no mitosis during blastema formation, we propose that high levels of EVI5 function to arrest dedifferentiated cells somewhere in the G1/S/G2 phases of the cell cycle until they have accumulated under the wound epidermis and enter mitosis in response to

  2. Evaluation of the anesthetic effects of MS222 in the adult Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum

    Zullian C


    Full Text Available Chiara Zullian,1 Aurore Dodelet-Devillers,1 Stéphane Roy,2 Pascal Vachon1 1Département de Biomédecine Vétérinaire, Faculté de Médecine Vétérinaire, Université de Montréal, Saint-Hyacinthe, 2Département de Stomatologie, Faculté de Médecine Dentaire, Montréal, Québec, Canada Abstract: The Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum is a unique research model in several fields of medicine, where surgical and invasive procedures may be required. As yet, little is known about the efficacy of MS222 (tricaine methanesulfonate, which is the most commonly used anesthetic agent in amphibians. The main objectives of this study were to evaluate the anesthetic effects and physiological changes in adult axolotls following a 20-minute immersion bath, containing progressive MS222 concentrations starting at 0.1%. Depth of anesthesia and physiological changes were evaluated every 15 minutes post-MS222 exposure with the following parameters: righting behavior, withdrawal reflex, acetic acid test response, heart rate, and blood oxygen saturation, as well as cloacal and body surface temperatures. A 20-minute exposure in a 0.1% MS222 immersion bath (n=6 animals had no anesthetic effects on adult axolotls after 20 minutes of exposure. With a 0.2% MS222 solution, all axolotls (n=9 were deeply anesthetized at 15 minutes, and 80% were still unresponsive at 30 minutes postexposure. Blood oxygen saturation and heart rate were slightly, but significantly, increased when compared with the baseline value and remained stable up to recovery. There was no significant increase in surface and cloaca temperatures, compared with baseline. With the 0.4% MS222 solution, the duration of anesthesia lasted for 90 minutes to at least 120 minutes (n=3 animals and this concentration was deemed too high. In conclusion, a 20-minute immersion bath with 0.2% MS222 may be used for short procedures (15–30 minutes requiring anesthesia of adult axolotls. Keywords: Ambystoma mexicanum

  3. Germline transgenic methods for tracking cells and testing gene function during regeneration in the axolotl.

    Khattak, Shahryar; Schuez, Maritta; Richter, Tobias; Knapp, Dunja; Haigo, Saori L; Sandoval-Guzmán, Tatiana; Hradlikova, Kristyna; Duemmler, Annett; Kerney, Ryan; Tanaka, Elly M


    The salamander is the only tetrapod that regenerates complex body structures throughout life. Deciphering the underlying molecular processes of regeneration is fundamental for regenerative medicine and developmental biology, but the model organism had limited tools for molecular analysis. We describe a comprehensive set of germline transgenic strains in the laboratory-bred salamander Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl) that open up the cellular and molecular genetic dissection of regeneration. We demonstrate tissue-dependent control of gene expression in nerve, Schwann cells, oligodendrocytes, muscle, epidermis, and cartilage. Furthermore, we demonstrate the use of tamoxifen-induced Cre/loxP-mediated recombination to indelibly mark different cell types. Finally, we inducibly overexpress the cell-cycle inhibitor p16 (INK4a) , which negatively regulates spinal cord regeneration. These tissue-specific germline axolotl lines and tightly inducible Cre drivers and LoxP reporter lines render this classical regeneration model molecularly accessible. PMID:24052945

  4. Comparative Analysis of Cartilage Marker Gene Expression Patterns during Axolotl and Xenopus Limb Regeneration.

    Kazumasa Mitogawa

    Full Text Available Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum can completely regenerate lost limbs, whereas Xenopus laevis frogs cannot. During limb regeneration, a blastema is first formed at the amputation plane. It is thought that this regeneration blastema forms a limb by mechanisms similar to those of a developing embryonic limb bud. Furthermore, Xenopus laevis frogs can form a blastema after amputation; however, the blastema results in a terminal cone-shaped cartilaginous structure called a "spike." The causes of this patterning defect in Xenopus frog limb regeneration were explored. We hypothesized that differences in chondrogenesis may underlie the patterning defect. Thus, we focused on chondrogenesis. Chondrogenesis marker genes, type I and type II collagen, were compared in regenerative and nonregenerative environments. There were marked differences between axolotls and Xenopus in the expression pattern of these chondrogenesis-associated genes. The relative deficit in the chondrogenic capacity of Xenopus blastema cells may account for the absence of total limb regenerative capacity.

  5. Regulation of antibody synthesis in the X-irradiated Mexican axolotl

    Charlemagne, J.


    The effects of X-irradiation were studied on the Mexican axolotl antibody synthesis. To reduce the anti-horse red blood cell (HRBC) antibody titers, 150 rd and smaller doses are ineffective, 200-450 rd are increasingly effective, and 700 rd are maximally effective (and lethal). A significant enhancement of the anti-HRBC titers was observed in low doses (50-150 rd X-irradiated animals). This enhancement was also observed when a low X-ray dose was applied only on the thymic areas. In whole body, but thymus area-shielded, 100 rd X-irradiated animals, the anti-HRBC titers were similar to those of the nonirradiated, HRBC-immunized control group. To explain these phenomena, it is suggested that a radiosensitive, adult thymectomy-sensitive and hydrocortisone-sensitive suppressor T cell subpopulation regulates the antibody synthesis in the axolotl.

  6. Skin Regeneration in Adult Axolotls: A Blueprint for Scar-Free Healing in Vertebrates

    Seifert, Ashley W.; Monaghan, James R; Voss, S. Randal; Maden, Malcolm


    While considerable progress has been made towards understanding the complex processes and pathways that regulate human wound healing, regenerative medicine has been unable to develop therapies that coax the natural wound environment to heal scar-free. The inability to induce perfect skin regeneration stems partly from our limited understanding of how scar-free healing occurs in a natural setting. Here we have investigated the wound repair process in adult axolotls and demonstrate that they ar...

  7. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy in a true regenerative environment, the regenerating limb of the axolotl

    Hansen, Kasper; Lauridsen, Henrik; Pedersen, Michael


    Introduction: Regeneration is a widespread phenomenon functioning to maintain and restore normal form and function of cells, tissues, and sometimes organs or appendages. Mammalian species typically employed in regenerative research generally process limited regenerative potential. Conversely, lower...... vertebrates such as the urodele amphibians (salamanders and newts), are excellent animal models for regenerative studies. The iconic Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is capable of regenerating whole limbs, tail, jaw, and many inner organs, by dedifferentiation of cells to form a blastema (collection of...

  8. Pathological changes of Golgi complex in hemocytoblasts of spleen of young axolotls after x-irradiation

    Turska, R.


    The data available up to now concerning the structure of Golgi complex in different types of normal and pathologically changed cells are very divergent. Results are reported from detailed studies on changes occurring within the Golgi complex in the spleen of three-month old axolotls after x-ray irradiation with a single dose of 1,200 R and killed by decapitation 15, 30, 60 minutes and 3, 6, and 12 hours after irradiation.

  9. Neural crest does not contribute to the neck and shoulder in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Hans-Henning Epperlein

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: A major step during the evolution of tetrapods was their transition from water to land. This process involved the reduction or complete loss of the dermal bones that made up connections to the skull and a concomitant enlargement of the endochondral shoulder girdle. In the mouse the latter is derived from three separate embryonic sources: lateral plate mesoderm, somites, and neural crest. The neural crest was suggested to sustain the muscle attachments. How this complex composition of the endochondral shoulder girdle arose during evolution and whether it is shared by all tetrapods is unknown. Salamanders that lack dermal bone within their shoulder girdle were of special interest for a possible contribution of the neural crest to the endochondral elements and muscle attachment sites, and we therefore studied them in this context. RESULTS: We grafted neural crest from GFP+ fluorescent transgenic axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum donor embryos into white (d/d axolotl hosts and followed the presence of neural crest cells within the cartilage of the shoulder girdle and the connective tissue of muscle attachment sites of the neck-shoulder region. Strikingly, neural crest cells did not contribute to any part of the endochondral shoulder girdle or to the connective tissue at muscle attachment sites in axolotl. CONCLUSIONS: Our results in axolotl suggest that neural crest does not serve a general function in vertebrate shoulder muscle attachment sites as predicted by the "muscle scaffold theory," and that it is not necessary to maintain connectivity of the endochondral shoulder girdle to the skull. Our data support the possibility that the contribution of the neural crest to the endochondral shoulder girdle, which is observed in the mouse, arose de novo in mammals as a developmental basis for their skeletal synapomorphies. This further supports the hypothesis of an increased neural crest diversification during vertebrate evolution.

  10. Structure, diversity, and repertoire of VH families in the Mexican axolotl.

    Golub, R; Charlemagne, J


    The Mexican axolotl V(H) segments associated with the Igh C mu and C nu isotypes were isolated from anchored PCR libraries prepared from spleen cell cDNA. The eight new V(H) segments found bring the number of V(H) families in the axolotl to 11. Each V(H) had the canonical structural features of vertebrate V(H) segments, including residues important for the correct folding of the Ig domain. The distribution of ser AGC/T (AGY) and TCN codons in axolotl V(H) genes was biased toward AGY in complementarity-determining region-1 (CDR1) and TCN in framework region-1 (FR1); there were no ser residues in the FR2 region. Thus, the axolotl CDR1 region is enriched in DNA sequences forming potential hypermutation hot spots and is flanked by DNA sequences more resistant to point mutation. There was no significant bias toward AGY in CDR2. Southern blotting using family-specific V(H) probes showed restriction fragments from 1 (V(H)9) to 11-19 (V(H)2), and the total number of V(H) genes was 44 to 70, depending on the restriction endonuclease used. The V(H) segments were not randomly used by the H mu and H nu chains; V(H)1, V(H)6, and V(H)11 were underutilized; and the majority of the V(H) segments belonged to the V(H)7, V(H)8, and V(H)9 families. Most of the nine J(H) segments seemed to be randomly used, except J(H)6 and J(H)9, which were found only once in 79 clones. PMID:9570539

  11. Structure, diversity and expression of the TCRdelta chains in the Mexican axolotl.

    Fellah, Julien S; André, Sébastien; Kerfourn, Fabienne; Guerci, Aline; Durand, Charles; Aubet, Geneviève; Charlemagne, Jacques


    Mammals and birds have two major populations of T cells, based on the molecular composition and biological properties of their antigen receptors (TCR). alpha beta T cells recognize antigenic peptides linked to major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules, and gamma delta T cells recognize native peptide or non-peptide antigens independently of MHC. Very little is known about gamma delta T cells in ectothermic vertebrates. We have cloned and characterized the TCRdelta chains of an urodele amphibian, the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). The Cdelta domain is structurally similar to its mammalian homologues and the transmembrane domain is very well conserved. Four of the six Valpha regions that can associate with Calpha (Valpha2, Valpha3, Valpha5 and Valpha6) can also associate with Cdelta, but no specific Vdelta regions were found. This suggests that the axolotl TRD locus is nested within the TRA locus, as in mammals, and that this organization has been present in all tetrapod vertebrates and in the common ancestor of Lissamphibians and mammals, for over 400 million years. Two Jdelta regions were identified, but no Ddelta segments were clearly recognized at the Vdelta-Jdelta junctions. This results in shorter and less variable CDR3 loops than in other vertebrates and the size range of the Vdelta-Jdelta junctions is similar to that of mammalian immunoglobulin light chains. Equivalent quantities of TRD mRNA were found in the lymphoid organs, and in the skin and the intestines of normal and thymectomized axolotls. The analysis of several Valpha/delta6-Cdelta and Vbeta7-Cbeta junctions showed that both the TCRdelta and the TCRbeta chains were limited in diversity in thymectomized axolotls. PMID:11981822

  12. Skin regeneration in adult axolotls: a blueprint for scar-free healing in vertebrates.

    Ashley W Seifert

    Full Text Available While considerable progress has been made towards understanding the complex processes and pathways that regulate human wound healing, regenerative medicine has been unable to develop therapies that coax the natural wound environment to heal scar-free. The inability to induce perfect skin regeneration stems partly from our limited understanding of how scar-free healing occurs in a natural setting. Here we have investigated the wound repair process in adult axolotls and demonstrate that they are capable of perfectly repairing full thickness excisional wounds made on the flank. In the context of mammalian wound repair, our findings reveal a substantial reduction in hemostasis, reduced neutrophil infiltration and a relatively long delay in production of new extracellular matrix (ECM during scar-free healing. Additionally, we test the hypothesis that metamorphosis leads to scarring and instead show that terrestrial axolotls also heal scar-free, albeit at a slower rate. Analysis of newly forming dermal ECM suggests that low levels of fibronectin and high levels of tenascin-C promote regeneration in lieu of scarring. Lastly, a genetic analysis during wound healing comparing epidermis between aquatic and terrestrial axolotls suggests that matrix metalloproteinases may regulate the fibrotic response. Our findings outline a blueprint to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms coordinating scar-free healing that will be useful towards elucidating new regenerative therapies targeting fibrosis and wound repair.

  13. Myofibril-Inducing RNA (MIR is essential for tropomyosin expression and myofibrillogenesis in axolotl hearts

    Lemanski Sharon L


    Full Text Available Abstract The Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, carries the naturally-occurring recessive mutant gene 'c' that results in a failure of homozygous (c/c embryos to form hearts that beat because of an absence of organized myofibrils. Our previous studies have shown that a noncoding RNA, Myofibril-Inducing RNA (MIR, is capable of promoting myofibrillogenesis and heart beating in the mutant (c/c axolotls. The present study demonstrates that the MIR gene is essential for tropomyosin (TM expression in axolotl hearts during development. Gene expression studies show that mRNA expression of various tropomyosin isoforms in untreated mutant hearts and in normal hearts knocked down with double-stranded MIR (dsMIR are similar to untreated normal. However, at the protein level, selected tropomyosin isoforms are significantly reduced in mutant and dsMIR treated normal hearts. These results suggest that MIR is involved in controlling the translation or post-translation of various TM isoforms and subsequently of regulating cardiac contractility.

  14. Adult axolotls can regenerate original neuronal diversity in response to brain injury

    Amamoto, Ryoji; Huerta, Violeta Gisselle Lopez; Takahashi, Emi; Dai, Guangping; Grant, Aaron K; Fu, Zhanyan; Arlotta, Paola


    The axolotl can regenerate multiple organs, including the brain. It remains, however, unclear whether neuronal diversity, intricate tissue architecture, and axonal connectivity can be regenerated; yet, this is critical for recovery of function and a central aim of cell replacement strategies in the mammalian central nervous system. Here, we demonstrate that, upon mechanical injury to the adult pallium, axolotls can regenerate several of the populations of neurons present before injury. Notably, regenerated neurons acquire functional electrophysiological traits and respond appropriately to afferent inputs. Despite the ability to regenerate specific, molecularly-defined neuronal subtypes, we also uncovered previously unappreciated limitations by showing that newborn neurons organize within altered tissue architecture and fail to re-establish the long-distance axonal tracts and circuit physiology present before injury. The data provide a direct demonstration that diverse, electrophysiologically functional neurons can be regenerated in axolotls, but challenge prior assumptions of functional brain repair in regenerative species. DOI: PMID:27156560

  15. Identification of cDNA clones encoding HMG 2, a major protein of the mexican axolotl hydrocortisone-sensitive thymocytes.

    de Guerra, A; Guillet, F; Charlemagne, J; Fellah, J S


    We have identified and analyzed cDNA clones encoding a major 26 kDa protein of the HMG1-2 family which is abundant in the cytoplasm and nucleus of axolotl hydrocortisone-sensitive thymocytes. The axolotl HMG2 protein is very similar to proteins belonging to the HMG1-2 family, from teleost fish to mammals. All the molecular features of the HMG1-2 proteins are conserved, including the high proportion of basic and aromatic residues, and the characteristic acidic C-terminus tail. The 3'-untranslated region of the HMG2 axolotl cDNA is also similar to the avian and mammalian HMG2 3'-UT sequences, suggesting that some selective events have acted at the DNA level to conserve this region, which could be important in the differential expression of the HMG1 and HMG2 genes. The axolotl HMG2 protein contains the two well conserved HMG boxes which are thought to be the DNA-binding domains of the molecule. Axolotl thymocytes and spleen cells contain almost identical amounts of HMG2 mRNAs but HMG2 polypeptide is undetectable in spleen cells using anti-26 kDa antibodies. The reason for the accumulation of HMG1-2 molecules in vertebrate hydrocortisone-sensitive thymocytes is discussed, as well as their possible role in apoptosis. PMID:8654668

  16. MRI tracking of SPIO labelled stem cells in a true regenerative environment, the regenerating limb of the axolotl

    Lauridsen, Henrik; Foldager, Casper Bindzus; Hagensen, Mette;

    Introduction: Regeneration is a widespread phenomenon functioning to maintain and restore normal form and function of cells, tissues, and in some cases organs or appendages. While mammals like mice and rats are typically employed as experimental models in regenerative research, these animals are...... generally restricted by their limited regenerative potential. Conversely, excellent animal models for regenerative studies exist in lower vertebrates such as the urodele amphibians (salamanders and newts), exemplified in the iconic Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) capable of regenerating whole limbs...... regenerating axolotl limb model. Superparamagnetic iron oxide particles (SPIOs) sensitive to MRI were used to track cells, and cell viability and regenerative capacity was investigated. Materials and Methods: Limb regeneration was induced by amputation of one hind limb of anaesthetised axolotls. The potential...

  17. Microarray analysis of microRNA expression during axolotl limb regeneration.

    Edna C Holman

    Full Text Available Among vertebrates, salamanders stand out for their remarkable capacity to quickly regrow a myriad of tissues and organs after injury or amputation. The limb regeneration process in axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum has been well studied for decades at the cell-tissue level. While several developmental genes are known to be reactivated during this epimorphic process, less is known about the role of microRNAs in urodele amphibian limb regeneration. Given the compelling evidence that many microRNAs tightly regulate cell fate and morphogenetic processes through development and adulthood by modulating the expression (or re-expression of developmental genes, we investigated the possibility that microRNA levels change during limb regeneration. Using two different microarray platforms to compare the axolotl microRNA expression between mid-bud limb regenerating blastemas and non-regenerating stump tissues, we found that miR-21 was overexpressed in mid-bud blastemas compared to stump tissue. Mature A. mexicanum ("Amex" miR-21 was detected in axolotl RNA by Northern blot and differential expression of Amex-miR-21 in blastema versus stump was confirmed by quantitative RT-PCR. We identified the Amex Jagged1 as a putative target gene for miR-21 during salamander limb regeneration. We cloned the full length 3'UTR of Amex-Jag1, and our in vitro assays demonstrated that its single miR-21 target recognition site is functional and essential for the response of the Jagged1 gene to miR-21 levels. Our findings pave the road for advanced in vivo functional assays aimed to clarify how microRNAs such as miR-21, often linked to pathogenic cell growth, might be modulating the redeployment of developmental genes such as Jagged1 during regenerative processes.

  18. Wide tissue distribution of axolotl class II molecules occurs independently of thyroxin.

    Völk, H; Charlemagne, J; Tournefier, A; Ferrone, S; Jost, R; Parisot, R; Kaufman, J


    Unlike most salamanders, the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) fails to produce enough thyroxin to undergo anatomical metamorphosis, although a "cryptic metamorphosis" involving a change from fetal to adult hemoglobins has been described. To understand to what extent the development of the axolotl hemopoietic system is linked to anatomical metamorphosis, we examined the appearance and thyroxin dependence of class II molecules on thymus, blood, and spleen cells, using both flow cytometry and biosynthetic labeling followed by immunoprecipitation. Class II molecules are present on B cells as early as 7 weeks after hatching, the first time analyzed. At this time, most thymocytes, all T cells, and all erythrocytes lack class II molecules, but first thymocytes at 17 weeks, then T cells at 22 weeks, and finally erythrocytes at 26-27 weeks virtually all bear class II molecules. Class II molecules and adult hemoglobin appear at roughly the same time in erythrocytes. These data are most easily explained by populations of class II-negative cells being replaced by populations of class II-positive cells, and they show that the hemopoietic system matures at a variety of times unrelated to the increase of thyroxin that drives anatomical metamorphosis. We found that administration of thyroxin during axolotl ontogeny does not accelerate or otherwise affect the acquisition of class II molecules, nor does administration of drugs that inhibit thyroxin (sodium perchlorate, thiourea, methimazole, and 1-methyl imidazole) retard or abolish this acquisition, suggesting that the programs for anatomical metamorphosis and some aspects of hemopoietic development are entirely separate. PMID:9510551

  19. Comparative RNA-seq analysis in the unsequenced axolotl: the oncogene burst highlights early gene expression in the blastema.

    Ron Stewart

    Full Text Available The salamander has the remarkable ability to regenerate its limb after amputation. Cells at the site of amputation form a blastema and then proliferate and differentiate to regrow the limb. To better understand this process, we performed deep RNA sequencing of the blastema over a time course in the axolotl, a species whose genome has not been sequenced. Using a novel comparative approach to analyzing RNA-seq data, we characterized the transcriptional dynamics of the regenerating axolotl limb with respect to the human gene set. This approach involved de novo assembly of axolotl transcripts, RNA-seq transcript quantification without a reference genome, and transformation of abundances from axolotl contigs to human genes. We found a prominent burst in oncogene expression during the first day and blastemal/limb bud genes peaking at 7 to 14 days. In addition, we found that limb patterning genes, SALL genes, and genes involved in angiogenesis, wound healing, defense/immunity, and bone development are enriched during blastema formation and development. Finally, we identified a category of genes with no prior literature support for limb regeneration that are candidates for further evaluation based on their expression pattern during the regenerative process.

  20. Characterization of a multimeric polypeptide complex on the surface of thymus-derived cells in the Mexican axolotl.

    Kerfourn, F; Guillet, F; Charlemagne, J; Tournefier, A


    We previously raised a rabbit antiserum (L12) against a 38 kD polypeptide which is expressed on the surface of thymocytes and peripheral T cells of an Urodele Amphibian, the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). Here we show that L12 antibodies immunoprecipitate several labelled molecules from surface iodinated axolotl spleen cells, including the 38 kD molecule, but also two polypeptides of 43 and 22 kD which are covalently linked to other elements. Another rabbit antiserum (L10) was raised against detergent-solubilized axolotl thymocyte membranes and shown to recognize the majority of thymocytes and about half of the splenocytes in immunofluorescence. In Western blotting, L10 antibodies recognized a limited number of surface polypeptides in thymocyte and splenocyte lysates, including 43, 38, and 22 kD elements. Immune complexes formed between L10 antibodies and solubilized splenocyte membranes were used to immunize BALB/c mice intrasplenically in the aim of raising MoAbs specific for axolotl T cells. Monoclonal antibody 87.16 was shown to stain in immunofluorescence 26.7% of thymocytes and 26.8% of spleen cells. This MoAb recognized a 43 kD polypeptide that can covalently associate on the T-cell surface with several other molecules to form a multimeric complex. PMID:8211000

  1. Identification and expression of Helios, a member of the Ikaros family, in the Mexican axolotl: implications for the embryonic origin of lymphocyte progenitors.

    Durand, Charles; Kerfourn, Fabienne; Charlemagne, Jacques; Fellah, Julien S


    Transcription factors of the Ikaros gene family are critical for the differentiation of T and B lymphocytes from pluripotent hematopoietic stem cells. To study the first steps of lymphopoiesis in the Mexican axolotl, we have cloned the Helios ortholog in this urodele amphibian species. We demonstrated that the axolotl Helios contains a 144-bp deletion at the 5' end of the activation domain. Helios is expressed in both the thymus and spleen but not in the liver of the pre-adult axolotl. During ontogeny, Helios transcripts are detected from neurula stage, before the apparition of the first Ikaros transcripts and the colonization of lymphoid tissues. Interestingly, Helios and Ikaros mRNA are found predominantly in the ventral blood islands of late tail-bud embryos. These results suggest that in contrast to the Xenopus and amniote embryos where two sites of hematopoiesis have been characterized, the ventral blood islands could be the major site of hematopoiesis in the axolotl. PMID:12115658

  2. The Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum: Factors That Limit its Production and Alternatives for its Conservation

    J. Toca-Ramirez


    Full Text Available Ambystoma mexicanum is an amphibian endemic to Xochimilco Lake in Mexico City. It has been declared in danger of extinction and is under special protection. Some chemical contaminants in the water are extremely high and could be the cause of its high mortality rate in certain areas of Xochimilco. In order to preserve this species it will not only be necessary and fundamental to prohibit fishing axolotls in their natural state, a market study and nutritional chemical analysis will also be necessary in order to establish the organoleptic properties and level of acceptance before a taste panel; that is to say, get to know more about the specie in order to give the product added value offering its meat as an unconventional delicacy. This way the creation of farms that will help its conservation will be justified. On the other hand it is important to mention that the axolotls are very important in scientific research. Since it serves as an amphibious model for many physiological and morphological processes that explain the regenerative process that this species possess. The objective of this study is to emphasize the advantages that the Ambystoma mexicanum has with the intention to rationally exploit these attributes in order to achieve its conservation.

  3. Evidence for an RNA polymerization activity in axolotl and Xenopus egg extracts.

    Hélène Pelczar

    Full Text Available We have previously reported a post-transcriptional RNA amplification observed in vivo following injection of in vitro synthesized transcripts into axolotl oocytes, unfertilized (UFE or fertilized eggs. To further characterize this phenomenon, low speed extracts (LSE from axolotl and Xenopus UFE were prepared and tested in an RNA polymerization assay. The major conclusions are: i the amphibian extracts catalyze the incorporation of radioactive ribonucleotide in RNase but not DNase sensitive products showing that these products correspond to RNA; ii the phenomenon is resistant to α-amanitin, an inhibitor of RNA polymerases II and III and to cordycepin (3'dAMP, but sensitive to cordycepin 5'-triphosphate, an RNA elongation inhibitor, which supports the existence of an RNA polymerase activity different from polymerases II and III; the detection of radiolabelled RNA comigrating at the same length as the exogenous transcript added to the extracts allowed us to show that iii the RNA polymerization is not a 3' end labelling and that iv the radiolabelled RNA is single rather than double stranded. In vitro cell-free systems derived from amphibian UFE therefore validate our previous in vivo results hypothesizing the existence of an evolutionary conserved enzymatic activity with the properties of an RNA dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp.

  4. Abdominal Distension Associated with Luminal Fungi in the Intestines of Axolotl Larvae

    Chiara Zullian


    Full Text Available Axolotls show a remarkable regeneration capacity compared with higher vertebrates, regenerating missing appendages such as limbs and tail as well as other body parts (i.e., apex of the heart, forebrain, and jaw after amputations which makes this animal a very interesting research model for tissue regeneration mechanisms. Larvae are individually housed in a 20% Holtfreter’s solution within clear plastic containers. The photoperiod light : darkness cycle is 12 : 12 h. Larvae with a total body length of less than 5 cm are fed once a day with large brine shrimp and blood worm. Albino larvae appeared to have a tendency to exhibit abdominal distention. No clinical signs of illness seemed to be associated with the condition; however, these animals exhibit a relatively slower growth rate. To better characterize this condition, we performed histological sectioning for cross sectional slide preparation on wild type and albino axolotl larvae following euthanasia. The only lesion seen in the albino larvae was a thickened gut wall and the presence of fungi within the intestines. We hypothesize that this may be due to a lower efficacy of the albino larvae’s immune system.

  5. T-cell-specific membrane antigens in the Mexican axolotl (urodele amphibian).

    Kerfourn, F; Guillet, F; Charlemagne, J; Tournefier, A


    Comparative analysis of SDS-PAGE patterns of axolotl spleen cells membrane detergent lysates showed important discrepancies between control and thymectomized animals. Among these, a 38-kD protein band, which appeared as a major protein in controls, was not or poorly expressed after thymectomy. A rabbit antiserum (L12) raised against the 38-kD eluted band labeled in indirect immunofluorescence 80-86% of thymocytes and 40-46% of mIg- lymphoid cells in the spleen. The anti-38-kD antibodies stained in Western blotting two antigenically related polypeptides of 38- and 36-kD on splenocyte membrane lysates. Two-dimensional NEPHGE-PAGE analysis indicated that the anti-38-kD antibodies reacted in the spleen with several gathered spots in the 7.8-8.2 pI range, corresponding to 38-36-kD microheterogeneous polypeptides. Most of these spots are not further expressed in thymectomized animals. These results support evidence that the 38-kD surface antigens can be considered as specific surface markers of the axolotl thymus-derived lymphocytes. PMID:1627952

  6. Suppression of first cleavage in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) by heat shock or hydrostatic pressure

    Gillespie, L.L.; Armstrong, J.B.


    Androgenetic diploid axolotls were produced by ultraviolet inactivation of the egg pronucleus shortly after fertilization, followed by suppression of the first cleavage division by hydrostatic pressure or heat shock. After treatment at 14,000 psi for 8 minutes, diploidy was restored in 74% of the embryos, but only 0.8% survived to hatching. A 36-37 degrees C heat shock of 10-minutes duration, applied 5.5 hours after the eggs were collected, yielded a slightly lower percentage of diploids. However, the proportion surviving to hatching was significantly greater (up to 4.6%). A second generation of androgenetic diploids was produced from one of the oldest of the first generation males with a similar degree of success. The lack of significant improvement suggests that the low survival is due to the heat shock per se and not to the uncovering of recessive lethal genes carried by the parent.

  7. Proliferation zones in the axolotl brain and regeneration of the telencephalon

    Maden Malcolm


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Although the brains of lower vertebrates are known to exhibit somewhat limited regeneration after incisional or stab wounds, the Urodele brain exhibits extensive regeneration after massive tissue removal. Discovering whether and how neural progenitor cells that reside in the ventricular zones of Urodeles proliferate to mediate tissue repair in response to injury may produce novel leads for regenerative strategies. Here we show that endogenous neural progenitor cells resident to the ventricular zone of Urodeles spontaneously proliferate, producing progeny that migrate throughout the telencephalon before terminally differentiating into neurons. These progenitor cells appear to be responsible for telencephalon regeneration after tissue removal and their activity may be up-regulated by injury through an olfactory cue. Results There is extensive proliferation of endogenous neural progenitor cells throughout the ventricular zone of the adult axolotl brain. The highest levels are observed in the telencephalon, especially the dorsolateral aspect, and cerebellum. Lower levels are observed in the mesencephalon and rhombencephalon. New cells produced in the ventricular zone migrate laterally, dorsally and ventrally into the surrounding neuronal layer. After migrating from the ventricular zone, the new cells primarily express markers of neuronal differentiative fates. Large-scale telencephalic tissue removal stimulates progenitor cell proliferation in the ventricular zone of the damaged region, followed by proliferation in the tissue that surrounds the healing edges of the wound until the telencephalon has completed regeneration. The proliferative stimulus appears to reside in the olfactory system, because telencephalic regeneration does not occur in the brains of olfactory bulbectomized animals in which the damaged neural tissue simply heals over. Conclusion There is a continual generation of neuronal cells from neural progenitor cells

  8. BMP-2 functions independently of SHH signaling and triggers cell condensation and apoptosis in regenerating axolotl limbs

    Finnson Kenneth


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Axolotls have the unique ability, among vertebrates, to perfectly regenerate complex body parts, such as limbs, after amputation. In addition, axolotls pattern developing and regenerating autopods from the anterior to posterior axis instead of posterior to anterior like all tetrapods studied to date. Sonic hedgehog is important in establishing this anterior-posterior axis of limbs in all tetrapods including axolotls. Interestingly, its expression is conserved (to the posterior side of limb buds and blastemas in axolotl limbs as in other tetrapods. It has been suggested that BMP-2 may be the secondary mediator of sonic hedgehog, although there is mounting evidence to the contrary in mice. Since BMP-2 expression is on the anterior portion of developing and regenerating limbs prior to digit patterning, opposite to the expression of sonic hedgehog, we examined whether BMP-2 expression was dependent on sonic hedgehog signaling and whether it affects patterning of the autopod during regeneration. Results The expression of BMP-2 and SOX-9 in developing and regenerating axolotl limbs corresponded to the first digits forming in the anterior portion of the autopods. The inhibition of sonic hedgehog signaling with cyclopamine caused hypomorphic limbs (during development and regeneration but did not affect the expression of BMP-2 and SOX-9. Overexpression of BMP-2 in regenerating limbs caused a loss of digits. Overexpression of Noggin (BMP inhibitor in regenerating limbs also resulted in a loss of digits. Histological analysis indicated that the loss due to BMP-2 overexpression was the result of increased cell condensation and apoptosis while the loss caused by Noggin was due to a decrease in cell division. Conclusion The expression of BMP-2 and its target SOX-9 was independent of sonic hedgehog signaling in developing and regenerating limbs. Their expression correlated with chondrogenesis and the appearance of skeletal elements has

  9. Comparative transcriptional profiling of the axolotl limb identifies a tripartite regeneration-specific gene program.

    Dunja Knapp

    Full Text Available Understanding how the limb blastema is established after the initial wound healing response is an important aspect of regeneration research. Here we performed parallel expression profile time courses of healing lateral wounds versus amputated limbs in axolotl. This comparison between wound healing and regeneration allowed us to identify amputation-specific genes. By clustering the expression profiles of these samples, we could detect three distinguishable phases of gene expression - early wound healing followed by a transition-phase leading to establishment of the limb development program, which correspond to the three phases of limb regeneration that had been defined by morphological criteria. By focusing on the transition-phase, we identified 93 strictly amputation-associated genes many of which are implicated in oxidative-stress response, chromatin modification, epithelial development or limb development. We further classified the genes based on whether they were or were not significantly expressed in the developing limb bud. The specific localization of 53 selected candidates within the blastema was investigated by in situ hybridization. In summary, we identified a set of genes that are expressed specifically during regeneration and are therefore, likely candidates for the regulation of blastema formation.

  10. DNA Methylation Dynamics Regulate the Formation of a Regenerative Wound Epithelium during Axolotl Limb Regeneration.

    Cristian Aguilar

    Full Text Available The formation of a blastema during regeneration of an axolotl limb involves important changes in the behavior and function of cells at the site of injury. One of the earliest events is the formation of the wound epithelium and subsequently the apical epidermal cap, which involves in vivo dedifferentiation that is controlled by signaling from the nerve. We have investigated the role of epigenetic modifications to the genome as a possible mechanism for regulating changes in gene expression patterns of keratinocytes of the wound and blastema epithelium that are involved in regeneration. We report a modulation of the expression DNMT3a, a de novo DNA methyltransferase, within the first 72 hours post injury that is dependent on nerve signaling. Treatment of skin wounds on the upper forelimb with decitabine, a DNA methyltransferase inhibitor, induced changes in gene expression and cellular behavior associated with a regenerative response. Furthermore, decitabine-treated wounds were able to participate in regeneration while untreated wounds inhibited a regenerative response. Elucidation of the specific epigenetic modifications that mediate cellular dedifferentiation likely will lead to insights for initiating a regenerative response in organisms that lack this ability.

  11. Effect of thyroid hormone concentration on the transcriptional response underlying induced metamorphosis in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma

    Samuels Amy K


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Thyroid hormones (TH induce gene expression programs that orchestrate amphibian metamorphosis. In contrast to anurans, many salamanders do not undergo metamorphosis in nature. However, they can be induced to undergo metamorphosis via exposure to thyroxine (T4. We induced metamorphosis in juvenile Mexican axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum using 5 and 50 nM T4, collected epidermal tissue from the head at four time points (Days 0, 2, 12, 28, and used microarray analysis to quantify mRNA abundances. Results Individuals reared in the higher T4 concentration initiated morphological and transcriptional changes earlier and completed metamorphosis by Day 28. In contrast, initiation of metamorphosis was delayed in the lower T4 concentration and none of the individuals completed metamorphosis by Day 28. We identified 402 genes that were statistically differentially expressed by ≥ two-fold between T4 treatments at one or more non-Day 0 sampling times. To complement this analysis, we used linear and quadratic regression to identify 542 and 709 genes that were differentially expressed by ≥ two-fold in the 5 and 50 nM T4 treatments, respectively. Conclusion We found that T4 concentration affected the timing of gene expression and the shape of temporal gene expression profiles. However, essentially all of the identified genes were similarly affected by 5 and 50 nM T4. We discuss genes and biological processes that appear to be common to salamander and anuran metamorphosis, and also highlight clear transcriptional differences. Our results show that gene expression in axolotls is diverse and precise, and that axolotls provide new insights about amphibian metamorphosis.

  12. Transient developmental expression of IgY and secretory component like protein in the gut of the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    Fellah, J S; Iscaki, S; Vaerman, J P; Charlemagne, J


    We previously reported that a primitive vertebrate, the Mexican axolotl (Amphibian, Urodela) synthesizes two classes of immunoglobulins. IgM are present in serum early in the development, and represent the bulk of specific antibody synthesis after an antigenic challenge. IgY occur in the serum later during the development, and are relatively insensitive to immunization. We demonstrate in the present work, using immunofluorescence with specific Mabs, that IgY are expressed in the gut epithelium, as secretory molecules. Secretory IgY are well expressed in the stomach and intestinal mucosae of young animals from 1 month after hatching to the seventh month. Thereafter, IgY progressively disappear from the gut and become readily detectable in the serum of 9-month-old preadult immunologically mature animals. Axolotl IgY are closely associated in the gut to secretory component-like (SC) molecules that are well-recognized by antisera to the SC of different mammalian species. This is the first description, in a primitive tetrapode, of an immunoglobulin class that could be the physiological counterpart of mammalian IgA. PMID:1627950

  13. Effect of water quality on the feeding ecology of axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum

    Diego de Jesus Chaparro-Herrera


    Full Text Available Ambystoma mexicanum, a highly endangered species, is endemic to lake Xochimilco (Mexico City, Mexico which currently is being negatively affected by the introduction of Oreochromis niloticus (Tilapia and water pollution. During the first weeks of development, when mortality is the highest, Ambystoma mexicanumdepends on a diet of zooplankton. The aim of this study was to check whether contamination levels in lake Xochimilco influence zooplankton consumption by similar size classes of A. mexicanum and Oreochromis niloticus. In this study, we analysed changes in the functional responses and prey preference of A. mexicanum and larval Tilapia in two media, one with filtered lake Xochimilco water and another one with reconstituted water. As prey we used cladocerans (Moina macrocopa, Alona glabra, Macrothrix triserialis and Simocephalus vetulus and ostracods (Heterocypris incongruens. Zooplankton was offered in 5 different densities, 10, 20, 40, 80, 160 ind./mL. Prey consumption by A. mexicanum varied in relation to the species offered and age of the larvae. From the first week to the eighth week prey consumption by A. mexicanum increased by 57%. Our functional response tests showed that regardless of the prey type, prey consumption by A. mexicanum was lower in the contaminated water from lake Xochimilco. Among the zooplankton offered in the contaminated environment predators preferred smaller and slower moving microcrustaceans such as Alona glabra and Heterocypris incongruens. Furthermore, O. niloticus preferred prey such as Moina macrocopa and Macrothrix triserialis in the contaminated medium and was more voracious than the axolotl. Our results indicate that both water quality of the lake and the presence of the more resistant exotic fish adversely impact the survival of this endangered amphibian.

  14. The structure, rearrangement, and ontogenic expression of DB and JB gene segments of the Mexican axolotl T-cell antigen receptor beta chain (TCRB).

    Kerfourn, F; Charlemagne, J; Fellah, J S


    We sequenced a total of 189 independent rearrangements in which the VB7.1 element is associated with CB1 (99 clones) or CB2 (90 clones) isotypes of the T-cell receptor (TCR) beta chain in the Mexican axolotl. Three stages of development were analyzed: 2.5 months, 10 months, and 25 months. Three JB1 segments were associated with the VB-CB1 rearrangements and six JB2 segments with VB-CB2. As in other vertebrates, some amino acid positions were conserved in all Jbetas (e. g., Phe-108, Gly-109, Gly-111, Thr-112, and Val-116). Two 11 nucleotides DB-like sequences, differed by one (A or T) central residue and could be productively read in the three putative reading frames. Most of the DB1 and JB1 segments were in the VB-CB1 clones, and most of the DB2 and JB2 segments were in the VB-CB2 clones, suggesting that the TCRB locus is organized into independent DB-JB-CB clusters that used the same collection of VB segments. About 40% of the beta-chain VDJ junctions in 2.5-month-old larvae had N nucleotides, compared with about 73% in 10 - 25-month old animals. The beta-chain VDJ junctions had about 30% of defective rearrangements at all stages of development, which could be due to the slow rate of cell division in the axolotl lymphoid organs, and the large genome in this urodele. Many of the axolotl CDRbeta3 sequences deduced for in frame VDJ rearrangements are the same in animals of different origins. Such redundancy could be a statistical effect due to the small number of thymocytes in the developing axolotl, rather than to some bias due to junctional preferences. PMID:8753858

  15. Regulation of Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum Limb Blastema Cell Proliferation by Nerves and BMP2 in Organotypic Slice Culture.

    Jeffrey Lehrberg

    Full Text Available We have modified and optimized the technique of organotypic slice culture in order to study the mechanisms regulating growth and pattern formation in regenerating axolotl limb blastemas. Blastema cells maintain many of the behaviors that are characteristic of blastemas in vivo when cultured as slices in vitro, including rates of proliferation that are comparable to what has been reported in vivo. Because the blastema slices can be cultured in basal medium without fetal bovine serum, it was possible to test the response of blastema cells to signaling molecules present in serum, as well as those produced by nerves. We also were able to investigate the response of blastema cells to experimentally regulated changes in BMP signaling. Blastema cells responded to all of these signals by increasing the rate of proliferation and the level of expression of the blastema marker gene, Prrx-1. The organotypic slice culture model provides the opportunity to identify and characterize the spatial and temporal co-regulation of pathways in order to induce and enhance a regenerative response.

  16. Complexity of the T cell receptor Cbeta isotypes in the Mexican axolotl: structure and diversity of the VDJCbeta3 and VDJCbeta4 chains.

    Fellah, J S; Durand, C; Kerfourn, F; Charlemagne, J


    We have reported previously the presence of two T cell receptor beta-chain constant region (Cbeta) isotypes in the Mexican axolotl. Specific Dbeta and Jbeta segments were present at the Vbeta-Cbeta1 and Vbeta-Cbeta2 junctions and nine Vbeta families which associate with both isotypes were characterized. This report describes two new Cbeta isotypes, Cbeta3 and Cbeta4. About 70 % of the amino acids in Cbeta3 are identical to Cbeta1 and Cbeta2. A Dbeta3 and a single Jbeta3 were found at the Vbeta-Cbeta3 junctions. The Dbeta3 consensus core sequence (TACGTGGCTACGTGGG) differs to all the presently known Dbeta and the CDR3beta loops of the Vbeta-Cbeta3 junctions (mean: 11.1 amino acids) contain a majority of aromatic, small hydrophobic and basic residues. The CDR3beta loops of the other isotypes are shorter (mean: 8.5 amino acids), contain a majority of acidic residues and very few aromatic residues. The axolotl Cbeta4 sequence has about 46 % similarity to Cbeta1, Cbeta2 and Cbeta3. Dbeta4 is identical to Dbeta2 and six new Jbeta segments are used at the Vbeta-Cbeta4 junctions. Four new families of Vbeta segments (Vbeta10-Vbeta13) are preferentially associated to Cbeta4. A strong selective pressure must operate in most vertebrates to preserve the structural stability of the extracellular part of the Cbeta chain. The four axolotl Cbeta seem to have evolved more freely, perhaps to favor the early emergence of a large diversity of T cell receptors in an amphibian species which is not fully immunocompetent before the 5th month of development. PMID:11180104

  17. The Axolotl Fibula as a Model for the Induction of Regeneration across Large Segment Defects in Long Bones of the Extremities.

    Xiaoping Chen

    Full Text Available We tested the ability of the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum fibula to regenerate across segment defects of different size in the absence of intervention or after implant of a unique 8-braid pig small intestine submucosa (SIS scaffold, with or without incorporated growth factor combinations or tissue protein extract. Fractures and defects of 10% and 20% of the total limb length regenerated well without any intervention, but 40% and 50% defects failed to regenerate after either simple removal of bone or implanting SIS scaffold alone. By contrast, scaffold soaked in the growth factor combination BMP-4/HGF or in protein extract of intact limb tissue promoted partial or extensive induction of cartilage and bone across 50% segment defects in 30%-33% of cases. These results show that BMP-4/HGF and intact tissue protein extract can promote the events required to induce cartilage and bone formation across a segment defect larger than critical size and that the long bones of axolotl limbs are an inexpensive model to screen soluble factors and natural and synthetic scaffolds for their efficacy in stimulating this process.

  18. CRISPR-Mediated Genomic Deletion of Sox2 in the Axolotl Shows a Requirement in Spinal Cord Neural Stem Cell Amplification during Tail Regeneration

    Ji-Feng Fei


    Full Text Available The salamander is the only tetrapod that functionally regenerates all cell types of the limb and spinal cord (SC and thus represents an important regeneration model, but the lack of gene-knockout technology has limited molecular analysis. We compared transcriptional activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs in the knockout of three loci in the axolotl and find that CRISPRs show highly penetrant knockout with less toxic effects compared to TALENs. Deletion of Sox2 in up to 100% of cells yielded viable F0 larvae with normal SC organization and ependymoglial cell marker expression such as GFAP and ZO-1. However, upon tail amputation, neural stem cell proliferation was inhibited, resulting in spinal-cord-specific regeneration failure. In contrast, the mesodermal blastema formed normally. Sox3 expression during development, but not regeneration, most likely allowed embryonic survival and the regeneration-specific phenotype. This analysis represents the first tissue-specific regeneration phenotype from the genomic deletion of a gene in the axolotl.

  19. Functional characterization of the vertebrate primary ureter: Structure and ion transport mechanisms of the pronephric duct in axolotl larvae (Amphibia

    Prehn Lea R


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Three kidney systems appear during vertebrate development: the pronephroi, mesonephroi and metanephroi. The pronephric duct is the first or primary ureter of these kidney systems. Its role as a key player in the induction of nephrogenic mesenchyme is well established. Here we investigate whether the duct is involved in urine modification using larvae of the freshwater amphibian Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl as model. Results We investigated structural as well as physiological properties of the pronephric duct. The key elements of our methodology were: using histology, light and transmission electron microscopy as well as confocal laser scanning microscopy on fixed tissue and applying the microperfusion technique on isolated pronephric ducts in combination with single cell microelectrode impalements. Our data show that the fully differentiated pronephric duct is composed of a single layered epithelium consisting of one cell type comparable to the principal cell of the renal collecting duct system. The cells are characterized by a prominent basolateral labyrinth and a relatively smooth apical surface with one central cilium. Cellular impalements demonstrate the presence of apical Na+ and K+ conductances, as well as a large K+ conductance in the basolateral cell membrane. Immunolabeling experiments indicate heavy expression of Na+/K+-ATPase in the basolateral labyrinth. Conclusions We propose that the pronephric duct is important for the subsequent modification of urine produced by the pronephros. Our results indicate that it reabsorbs sodium and secretes potassium via channels present in the apical cell membrane with the driving force for ion movement provided by the Na+/K+ pump. This is to our knowledge the first characterization of the pronephric duct, the precursor of the collecting duct system, which provides a model of cell structure and basic mechanisms for ion transport. Such information may be important in understanding

  20. Maintenance media for the axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum juveniles (Amphibia: Caudata Soluciones de mantenimiento de juveniles del ajolote Ambystoma mexicanum (Amphibia: Caudata

    Cecilia Robles Mendoza


    Full Text Available Physiological condition and organisms' health which are grown in culture systems depends on several factors including water quality, feeding and density among others. In Mexico, the colonies of the axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum (Shaw, an indigenous amphibian under extinction risk, are maintained under different culture conditions according to the objectives of the colony and the available resources. Particularly, water electrolytic characteristic and ionic and osmotic conditions are the factors with greater variation in the axolotl culture systems. Therefore, it is necessary to standardize the best maintenance conditions to store the germoplasm of the axolotl and to ensure healthy organisms with researching purposes. Thus, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the development and growth of Ambystoma mexicanum larvae reared under different maintenance media, usually used in Mexico for the culture of the species: 1 dechlorinated tap water; 2 dechlorinated tap water enriched with sodium chloride and commercial colloidal solution and 3 Holtfreter's solution reconstructed with dechlorinated tap water. In each experimental condition, 15 larvae on stage 44 (immediately after hatching were maintained during 21 days and development and growth were weekly recorded. Ionic and osmotic conditions of the external media were routinely registered. The obtained results suggested a better physiological condition of the axolotls maintained on Holtfreter's solution, where the highest growth rate (13 g WW d-1 and the greatest condition factor (0.79 were registered. The use of this solution is recommended due it guarantees the suitable development of early stages of A. mexicanum on culture systems.La condición fisiológica y por lo tanto la salud de los organismos acuáticos depende de varios factores como la calidad del agua de mantenimiento, la alimentación, la densidad, entre otros. En México, las colonias del ajolote Ambystoma mexicanum (Shaw, anfibio end

  1. Visualisation of axolotl blastema cells and pig endothelial progenitor cells using very small super paramagnetic iron oxide particles in MRI: A technique with applications for non invasive visualisation of regenerative processes

    Lauridsen, Henrik; Kjær, N.B.; Bek, Maria;

    oxide particles (VSOP) in animal cells enable non invasive cell tracking using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and can prove useful, when visualising regenerative processes. This study examines the possibility of labelling limited numbers of axolotl blastema cells (aBC) and pig endothelial progenitor...... cells (pEPC) with VSOP and detecting these in vitro and in vivo using a traditional clinical 1.5 T scanner. Methods: aBC and pEPG were incubated with VSOP C200 Vitro (Ferropharm) at different concentrations. T1- and T2*-weighted MRI was applied to labelled and control cells in vitro and to cells...... implanted in live axolotl tail and dead porcine heart, respectively. Cellular iron uptake was determined using inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES). Results: T2*-weighted 2D gradient-echo sequences on samples of 10˄5 cells yielded at significant linear correlations between...

  2. Genome‐wide analysis reveals conserved transcriptional responses downstream of resting potential change in Xenopus embryos, axolotl regeneration, and human mesenchymal cell differentiation

    Pai, Vaibhav P.; Martyniuk, Christopher J.; Echeverri, Karen; Sundelacruz, Sarah; Kaplan, David L.


    Abstract Endogenous bioelectric signaling via changes in cellular resting potential (V mem) is a key regulator of patterning during regeneration and embryogenesis in numerous model systems. Depolarization of V mem has been functionally implicated in dedifferentiation, tumorigenesis, anatomical re‐specification, and appendage regeneration. However, no unbiased analyses have been performed to understand genome‐wide transcriptional responses to V mem change in vivo. Moreover, it is unknown which genes or gene networks represent conserved targets of bioelectrical signaling across different patterning contexts and species. Here, we use microarray analysis to comparatively analyze transcriptional responses to V mem depolarization. We compare the response of the transcriptome during embryogenesis (Xenopus development), regeneration (axolotl regeneration), and stem cell differentiation (human mesenchymal stem cells in culture) to identify common networks across model species that are associated with depolarization. Both subnetwork enrichment and PANTHER analyses identified a number of key genetic modules as targets of V mem change, and also revealed important (well‐conserved) commonalities in bioelectric signal transduction, despite highly diverse experimental contexts and species. Depolarization regulates specific transcriptional networks across all three germ layers (ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm) such as cell differentiation and apoptosis, and this information will be used for developing mechanistic models of bioelectric regulation of patterning. Moreover, our analysis reveals that V mem change regulates transcripts related to important disease pathways such as cancer and neurodegeneration, which may represent novel targets for emerging electroceutical therapies. PMID:27499876

  3. Positional information is reprogrammed in blastema cells of the regenerating limb of the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum.

    Catherine D McCusker

    Full Text Available The regenerating region of an amputated salamander limb, known as the blastema, has the amazing capacity to replace exactly the missing structures. By grafting cells from different stages and regions of blastemas induced to form on donor animals expressing Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP, to non-GFP host animals, we have determined that the cells from early stage blastemas, as well as cells at the tip of late stage blastemas are developmentally labile such that their positional identity is reprogrammed by interactions with more proximal cells with stable positional information. In contrast, cells from the adjacent, more proximal stump tissues as well as the basal region of late bud blastemas are positionally stable, and thus form ectopic limb structures when grafted. Finally, we have found that a nerve is required to maintain the blastema cells in a positionally labile state, thus indicating a role for reprogramming cues in the blastema microenvironment.

  4. Gene expression patterns specific to the regenerating limb of the Mexican axolotl

    James R. Monaghan


    Salamander limb regeneration is dependent upon tissue interactions that are local to the amputation site. Communication among limb epidermis, peripheral nerves, and mesenchyme coordinate cell migration, cell proliferation, and tissue patterning to generate a blastema, which will form missing limb structures. An outstanding question is how cross-talk between these tissues gives rise to the regeneration blastema. To identify genes associated with epidermis-nerve-mesenchymal interactions during limb regeneration, we examined histological and transcriptional changes during the first week following injury in the wound epidermis and subjacent cells between three injury types; 1 a flank wound on the side of the animal that will not regenerate a limb, 2 a denervated limb that will not regenerate a limb, and 3 an innervated limb that will regenerate a limb. Early, histological and transcriptional changes were similar between the injury types, presumably because a common wound-healing program is employed across anatomical locations. However, some transcripts were enriched in limbs compared to the flank and are associated with vertebrate limb development. Many of these genes were activated before blastema outgrowth and expressed in specific tissue types including the epidermis, peripheral nerve, and mesenchyme. We also identified a relatively small group of transcripts that were more highly expressed in innervated limbs versus denervated limbs. These transcripts encode for proteins involved in myelination of peripheral nerves, epidermal cell function, and proliferation of mesenchymal cells. Overall, our study identifies limb-specific and nerve-dependent genes that are upstream of regenerative growth, and thus promising candidates for the regulation of blastema formation.

  5. Functional characterization of the vertebrate primary ureter: Structure and ion transport mechanisms of the pronephric duct in axolotl larvae (Amphibia)

    Haugan, Birgitte M; Halberg, Kenneth Agerlin; Jespersen, Åse;


    Background Three kidney systems appear during vertebrate development: the pronephroi, mesonephroi and metanephroi. The pronephric duct is the first or primary ureter of these kidney systems. Its role as a key player in the induction of nephrogenic mesenchyme is well established. Here we investigate...... transmission electron microscopy as well as confocal laser scanning microscopy on fixed tissue and applying the microperfusion technique on isolated pronephric ducts in combination with single cell microelectrode impalements. Our data show that the fully differentiated pronephric duct is composed of a single...... layered epithelium consisting of one cell type comparable to the principal cell of the renal collecting duct system. The cells are characterized by a prominent basolateral labyrinth and a relatively smooth apical surface with one central cilium. Cellular impalements demonstrate the presence of apical Na...

  6. Genic regions of a large salamander genome contain long introns and novel genes

    Bryant Susan V


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The basis of genome size variation remains an outstanding question because DNA sequence data are lacking for organisms with large genomes. Sixteen BAC clones from the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum: c-value = 32 × 109 bp were isolated and sequenced to characterize the structure of genic regions. Results Annotation of genes within BACs showed that axolotl introns are on average 10× longer than orthologous vertebrate introns and they are predicted to contain more functional elements, including miRNAs and snoRNAs. Loci were discovered within BACs for two novel EST transcripts that are differentially expressed during spinal cord regeneration and skin metamorphosis. Unexpectedly, a third novel gene was also discovered while manually annotating BACs. Analysis of human-axolotl protein-coding sequences suggests there are 2% more lineage specific genes in the axolotl genome than the human genome, but the great majority (86% of genes between axolotl and human are predicted to be 1:1 orthologs. Considering that axolotl genes are on average 5× larger than human genes, the genic component of the salamander genome is estimated to be incredibly large, approximately 2.8 gigabases! Conclusion This study shows that a large salamander genome has a correspondingly large genic component, primarily because genes have incredibly long introns. These intronic sequences may harbor novel coding and non-coding sequences that regulate biological processes that are unique to salamanders.

  7. Ion transport by the amphibian primary ureter

    Møbjerg, Nadja


    Three kidney systems appear during vertebrate development - the pronephros, mesonephros and metanephros. A characteristic of vertebrate organogenesis is the development of a primary ureter in association with the pronephros. This duct forms the collecting duct system of the latter kidneys and it is......+] steps from 3 to 20 mmol/l and a hyperpolarization of Vm upon lowering [Na+] from 102 to 2 mmol/l, indicating the presence of luminal K+ and Na+ conductances. This study provides the first functional data on the vertebrate primary ureter. The data show that the primary ureter of axolotl larvae...... putative ion transport mechanisms in the primary ureter of the freshwater amphibian Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl). Primary ureters isolated from axolotl larvae were perfused in vitro and single cells were impaled across the basal cell membrane with glass microelectrodes. In 42 cells the membrane potential...

  8. Microarray analysis of a salamander hopeful monster reveals transcriptional signatures of paedomorphic brain development

    Putta Srikrishna


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum is considered a hopeful monster because it exhibits an adaptive and derived mode of development - paedomorphosis - that has evolved rapidly and independently among tiger salamanders. Unlike related tiger salamanders that undergo metamorphosis, axolotls retain larval morphological traits into adulthood and thus present an adult body plan that differs dramatically from the ancestral (metamorphic form. The basis of paedomorphic development was investigated by comparing temporal patterns of gene transcription between axolotl and tiger salamander larvae (Ambystoma tigrinum tigrinum that typically undergo a metamorphosis. Results Transcript abundances from whole brain and pituitary were estimated via microarray analysis on four different days post hatching (42, 56, 70, 84 dph and regression modeling was used to independently identify genes that were differentially expressed as a function of time in both species. Collectively, more differentially expressed genes (DEGs were identified as unique to the axolotl (n = 76 and tiger salamander (n = 292 than were identified as shared (n = 108. All but two of the shared DEGs exhibited the same temporal pattern of expression and the unique genes tended to show greater changes later in the larval period when tiger salamander larvae were undergoing anatomical metamorphosis. A second, complementary analysis that directly compared the expression of 1320 genes between the species identified 409 genes that differed as a function of species or the interaction between time and species. Of these 409 DEGs, 84% exhibited higher abundances in tiger salamander larvae at all sampling times. Conclusions Many of the unique tiger salamander transcriptional responses are probably associated with metamorphic biological processes. However, the axolotl also showed unique patterns of transcription early in development. In particular, the axolotl showed a genome

  9. Urodele p53 tolerates amino acid changes found in p53 variants linked to human cancer

    Villiard Éric


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Urodele amphibians like the axolotl are unique among vertebrates in their ability to regenerate and their resistance to develop cancers. It is unknown whether these traits are linked at the molecular level. Results Blocking p53 signaling in axolotls using the p53 inhibitor, pifithrin-α, inhibited limb regeneration and the expression of p53 target genes such as Mdm2 and Gadd45, suggesting a link between tumor suppression and regeneration. To understand this relationship we cloned the p53 gene from axolotl. When comparing its sequence with p53 from other organisms, and more specifically human we observed multiple amino acids changes found in human tumors. Phylogenetic analysis of p53 protein sequences from various species is in general agreement with standard vertebrate phylogeny; however, both mice-like rodents and teleost fishes are fast evolving. This leads to long branch attraction resulting in an artefactual basal emergence of these groups in the phylogenetic tree. It is tempting to assume a correlation between certain life style traits (e.g. lifespan and the evolutionary rate of the corresponding p53 sequences. Functional assays of the axolotl p53 in human or axolotl cells using p53 promoter reporters demonstrated a temperature sensitivity (ts, which was further confirmed by performing colony assays at 37°C. In addition, axolotl p53 was capable of efficient transactivation at the Hmd2 promoter but has moderate activity at the p21 promoter. Endogenous axolotl p53 was activated following UV irradiation (100 j/m2 or treatment with an alkylating agent as measured using serine 15 phosphorylation and the expression of the endogenous p53 target Gadd45. Conclusion Urodele p53 may play a role in regeneration and has evolved to contain multiple amino acid changes predicted to render the human protein defective in tumor suppression. Some of these mutations were probably selected to maintain p53 activity at low temperature. However

  10. Conserved structure of amphibian T-cell antigen receptor beta chain.

    Fellah, J S; Kerfourn, F; Guillet, F; Charlemagne, J


    All jawed vertebrates possess well-differentiated thymuses and elicit T-cell-like cell-mediated responses; however, no surface T-cell receptor (TCR) molecules or TCR genes have been identified in ectothermic vertebrate species. Here we describe cDNA clones from an amphibian species, Ambystoma mexicanum (the Mexican axolotl), that have sequences highly homologous to the avian and mammalian TCR beta chains. The cloned amphibian beta chain variable region (V beta) shares most of the structural characteristics with the more evolved vertebrate V beta and presents approximately 56% amino acid identities with the murine V beta 14 and human V beta 18 families. The two different cloned axolotl beta chain joining regions (J beta) were found to have conserved all the invariant mammalian J beta residues, and in addition, the presence of a conserved glycine at the V beta-J beta junction suggests the existence of diversity elements. The extracellular domains of the two axolotl beta chain constant region isotypes C beta 1 and C beta 2 show an impressively high degree of identity, thus suggesting that a very efficient mechanism of gene correction has been in operation to preserve this structure at least from the early tetrapod evolution. The transmembrane axolotl C beta domains have been less well conserved when compared to the mammalian C beta but they do maintain the lysine residue that is thought to be involved in the charged interaction between the TCR alpha beta heterodimer and the CD3 complex. PMID:8341702

  11. Cloning and modeling of CD8 beta in the amphibian ambystoma Mexicanum. Evolutionary conserved structures for interactions with major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules.

    Fellah, Julien S; Tuffèry, Pierre; Etchebest, Catherine; Guillet, Françoise; Bleux, Christian; Charlemagne, Jacques


    Mammalian and avian T-cells exhibit a large number of well characterized surface molecules associated with their maturation degree. Very little is known in comparison with T-cell differentiation in ectothermic vertebrates. This is mainly due to the lack of probes to identify T-cell subsets. We cloned and sequenced the first ectothermic CD8 beta DNA complementary to RNA from an amphibian species, the Mexican axolotl. The CD8 beta chain was 30-36% identical with its avian and mammalian homologues. The extracellular V-like domain contained the two typically conserved cysteines and was followed by a J-like sequence containing the canonical Phe-Gly-X-Gly stretch. The connecting peptide was much longer than in other species and contained potential O-glycosylation sites. The axolotl CD8 beta and major histocompatibility complex class I molecules were modeled using human HLA-A2/CD8 alphaalpha complex as template. The backbone conformation of axolotl CD8 beta matched well with the CD8 alpha-2 subunit of the human complex but significant structural differences were located in the CDR1, CDR2 and DE loops. Both axolotl and human class I showed large negative surface potential. The interacting area of the human CD8 alpha chain and of the corresponding region of axolotl CD8 beta had positive electrostatic potential compatible with complexation with the corresponding class I molecules. The presence of a CD8 beta homologue in an amphibian species implies that it was already present in the Devonian ancestor of amphibians and mammals, i.e. more than 400 million years ago. PMID:12034498

  12. Primordial germ cells: the first cell lineage or the last cells standing?

    Johnson, Andrew D.; Alberio, Ramiro


    Embryos of many animal models express germ line determinants that suppress transcription and mediate early germ line commitment, which occurs before the somatic cell lineages are established. However, not all animals segregate their germ line in this manner. The ‘last cell standing’ model describes primordial germ cell (PGC) development in axolotls, in which PGCs are maintained by an extracellular signalling niche, and germ line commitment occurs after gastrulation. Here, we propose that this...

  13. Radioautographic investigation of retinal growth in mature amphibians

    Svistunov, S.A.; Mitashov, V.I.


    Growth of the retina was studied in mature intact amphibians, tritons, axolotls, ambystomas and clawed frogs, for six months using multiple injection of /sup 3/H-thymidine. It was established that the source of replenishment of the retina by new cells is its terminal zone in all animals investigated. This is attested to by the gradual migration of labeled cells from the growth zone into differentiated layers of the retina. The most intensely labeled cells occupy a distal position relative to other labeled cells, therefore marking the boundary between the initial part of the retina, not containing labeled nuclei, and the part being augmented. For each species studied, a level of proliferative activity is characteristic for cells of the terminal zone, which decreases in the order axolotl-clawed frog-triton -ambystoma. In the axolotl and additional growth zone is noted in the retina, in addition to the terminal, which is located in the area of the unclosed section of the embryonic fissure. Results obtained serve as a basis for the regenerative potentials of eye tissues revealed previously in these amphibian species.

  14. Phylogeny of immunoglobulin heavy chain isotypes: structure of the constant region of Ambystoma mexicanum upsilon chain deduced from cDNA sequence.

    Fellah, J S; Kerfourn, F; Wiles, M V; Schwager, J; Charlemagne, J


    An RNA polymerase chain reaction strategy was used to amplify and clone a cDNA segment encoding for the complete constant part of the axolotl IgY heavy (C upsilon) chain. C upsilon is 433 amino acids long and organized into four domains (C upsilon 1-C upsilon 4); each has the typical internal disulfide bond and invariant tryptophane residues. Axolotl C upsilon is most closely related to Xenopus C upsilon (40% identical amino acid residues) and C upsilon 1 shares 46.4% amino acid residues among these species. The presence of additional cysteines in C upsilon 1 and C upsilon 2 domains is consistent with an additional intradomain S-S bond similar to that suggested for Xenopus C upsilon and C chi, and for the avian C upsilon and the human C epsilon. C upsilon 4 ends with the Gly-Lys dipeptide characteristic of secreted mammalian C gamma 3, human C epsilon 4, and avian and anuran C upsilon 4, and contains the consensus [G/GT(AA)] nucleotide splice signal sequence for joining C upsilon 4 to the transmembrane region. These results are consistent with the hypothesis of an ancestral structural relationship between amphibian, avian upsilon chains, and mammalian epsilon chains. However, these molecules have different biological properties: axolotl IgY is secretory Ig, anuran and avian IgY behave like mammalian IgG, and mammalian IgE is implicated in anaphylactic reactions. PMID:8344718

  15. Spatial distribution of prominin-1 (CD133-positive cells within germinative zones of the vertebrate brain.

    József Jászai

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In mammals, embryonic neural progenitors as well as adult neural stem cells can be prospectively isolated based on the cell surface expression of prominin-1 (CD133, a plasma membrane glycoprotein. In contrast, characterization of neural progenitors in non-mammalian vertebrates endowed with significant constitutive neurogenesis and inherent self-repair ability is hampered by the lack of suitable cell surface markers. Here, we have investigated whether prominin-1-orthologues of the major non-mammalian vertebrate model organisms show any degree of conservation as for their association with neurogenic geminative zones within the central nervous system (CNS as they do in mammals or associated with activated neural progenitors during provoked neurogenesis in the regenerating CNS. METHODS: We have recently identified prominin-1 orthologues from zebrafish, axolotl and chicken. The spatial distribution of prominin-1-positive cells--in comparison to those of mice--was mapped in the intact brain in these organisms by non-radioactive in situ hybridization combined with detection of proliferating neural progenitors, marked either by proliferating cell nuclear antigen or 5-bromo-deoxyuridine. Furthermore, distribution of prominin-1 transcripts was investigated in the regenerating spinal cord of injured axolotl. RESULTS: Remarkably, a conserved association of prominin-1 with germinative zones of the CNS was uncovered as manifested in a significant co-localization with cell proliferation markers during normal constitutive neurogenesis in all species investigated. Moreover, an enhanced expression of prominin-1 became evident associated with provoked, compensatory neurogenesis during the epimorphic regeneration of the axolotl spinal cord. Interestingly, significant prominin-1-expressing cell populations were also detected at distinct extraventricular (parenchymal locations in the CNS of all vertebrate species being suggestive of further, non

  16. Evolution of vertebrate IgM: complete amino acid sequence of the constant region of Ambystoma mexicanum mu chain deduced from cDNA sequence.

    Fellah, J S; Wiles, M V; Charlemagne, J; Schwager, J


    cDNA clones coding for the constant region of the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) mu heavy immunoglobulin chain were selected from total spleen RNA, using a cDNA polymerase chain reaction technique. The specific 5'-end primer was an oligonucleotide homologous to the JH segment of Xenopus laevis mu chain. One of the clones, JHA/3, corresponded to the complete constant region of the axolotl mu chain, consisting of a 1362-nucleotide sequence coding for a polypeptide of 454 amino acids followed in 3' direction by a 179-nucleotide untranslated region and a polyA+ tail. The axolotl C mu is divided into four typical domains (C mu 1-C mu 4) and can be aligned with the Xenopus C mu with an overall identity of 56% at the nucleotide level. Percent identities were particularly high between C mu 1 (59%) and C mu 4 (71%). The C-terminal 20-amino acid segment which constitutes the secretory part of the mu chain is strongly homologous to the equivalent sequences of chondrichthyans and of other tetrapods, including a conserved N-linked oligosaccharide, the penultimate cysteine and the C-terminal lysine. The four C mu domains of 13 vertebrate species ranging from chondrichthyans to mammals were aligned and compared at the amino acid level. The significant number of mu-specific residues which are conserved into each of the four C mu domains argues for a continuous line of evolution of the vertebrate mu chain. This notion was confirmed by the ability to reconstitute a consistent vertebrate evolution tree based on the phylogenic parsimony analysis of the C mu 4 sequences. PMID:1382992

  17. Irradiation inhibits the regeneration of aneurogenic limbs. [X radiation

    Wallace, H.; Maden, M.


    The developing arms of axolotl larvae from the 2-digit stage onward and the aneurogenic arms of surgically denervated larvae maintained in parabiosis are able to regenerate after amputation. Such regeneration is uniformly inhibited by local irradiation of the arm, whether innervated or not. This demonstration refutes a recent hypothesis that x-rays interfere with a special activity of nerves required for regeneration, and supports the earlier concept that x-rays act directly on those cells which must proliferate to form the regenerated tissues.

  18. Epimorphic regeneration in mice is p53-independent

    Matthew Arthur, L; Demarest, Renee M; Clark, Lise; Gourevitch, Dmitri; Bedelbaeva, Kamila; Anderson, Rhonda; Snyder, Andrew; Capobianco, Anthony J.; Lieberman, Paul; Feigenbaum, Lionel; Heber-Katz, E


    The process of regeneration is most readily studied in species of sponge, hydra, planarian and salamander (i.e., newt and axolotl). The closure of MRL mouse ear pinna through-and-through holes provides a mammalian model of unusual wound healing/regeneration in which a blastema-like structure closes the ear hole and cartilage and hair follicles are replaced. Recent studies, based on a broad level of DNA damage and a cell cycle pattern of G2/M “arrest,” showed that p21Cip1/Waf1 was missing from...


    Lauridsen, Henrik; Foldager, Casper Bindzus; Hagensen, Mette;


    vertebrates mastering the ability to replace most tissues in addition to whole limbs, tail, jaw, etc. following damage or amputation. Regeneration in this species is taking place by dedifferentiation of cells to form a collection of stem cells, the regenerative blastema, that proliferate and regenerate lost...... tissue without scar formation. Modern regenerative medicine seeks way to adopt these capacities to regenerative therapies in humans. Though much effort is put into the development of stem cell therapies, there exists currently no satisfying technique for non-invasive follow up examinations of such...... therapies. The objective of this study was to non-invasively evaluate regeneration over time in a truly regenerative process, the regeneration of an axolotl limb, employing superparamagnetic iron oxide particles (SPIO) contrast agents for stem cell tracking in MRI. Materials and Methods: Amputation of one...

  20. Primordial germ cells: the first cell lineage or the last cells standing?

    Johnson, Andrew D; Alberio, Ramiro


    Embryos of many animal models express germ line determinants that suppress transcription and mediate early germ line commitment, which occurs before the somatic cell lineages are established. However, not all animals segregate their germ line in this manner. The 'last cell standing' model describes primordial germ cell (PGC) development in axolotls, in which PGCs are maintained by an extracellular signalling niche, and germ line commitment occurs after gastrulation. Here, we propose that this 'stochastic' mode of PGC specification is conserved in vertebrates, including non-rodent mammals. We postulate that early germ line segregation liberates genetic regulatory networks for somatic development to evolve, and that it therefore emerged repeatedly in the animal kingdom in response to natural selection. PMID:26286941

  1. How x rays inhibit amphibian limb regeneration

    Maden, M.; Wallace, H.


    The effects of an inhibiting dose of 2,000 rad of x-rays on the regenerating limbs of axolotl larvae have been examined in a histological and cytological study. Particular attention was paid to the mitotic indices of normal and irradiated epidermal and blastemal cells. Both the characteristic pattern of epidermal mitotic stimulation which normally follows amputation and the later increase in blastemal mitoses are suppressed by irradiation. In most cells the effects are permanent, but in a small proportion a mitotic delay is induced and upon subsequent division chromosome damage in the form of micronuclei is revealed. Thus irradiated cells which do divide almost certainly die. These results are discussed in relation to other theories of x-ray inhibition of regeneration with particular reference to the view that irradiated cells can be reactivated.

  2. The urodelean Mauthner cell. Morphology of the afferent synapses to the M-cell of larval Salamandra salamandra

    Cioni, C.; De Palma, F.; De Vito, L.; Stefanelli, A. [Rome, Univ. (Italy). Dipt. di Biologia Animale e dell`Uomo


    In the present work the fine morphology and the distribution of the afferent synapses to the Mauthner cell of larval Salamandra salamandra are described. The aim of the study is to characterize the synaptic bed in the larvae of this terrestrial salamander in order to compare it with that of larval axolotl and larval anurans. Four main types of afferent endings have been identified: myelinated club endings, round-vesicle end bulbs, flattened-vesicle end bulbs and spiral fibers endings. The M-cell afferent synaptology of larval stages of terrestrial amphibians is quite similar to that previously observed in larval stages of aquatic species. This fact can be related to the fundamental similarities between the larval lifestyles.

  3. Distinct and conserved prominin-1/CD133-positive retinal cell populations identified across species.

    József Jászai

    Full Text Available Besides being a marker of various somatic stem cells in mammals, prominin-1 (CD133 plays a role in maintaining the photoreceptor integrity since mutations in the PROM1 gene are linked with retinal degeneration. In spite of that, little information is available regarding its distribution in eyes of non-mammalian vertebrates endowed with high regenerative abilities. To address this subject, prominin-1 cognates were isolated from axolotl, zebrafish and chicken, and their retinal compartmentalization was investigated and compared to that of their mammalian orthologue. Interestingly, prominin-1 transcripts--except for the axolotl--were not strictly restricted to the outer nuclear layer (i.e., photoreceptor cells, but they also marked distinct subdivisions of the inner nuclear layer (INL. In zebrafish, where the prominin-1 gene is duplicated (i.e., prominin-1a and prominin-1b, a differential expression was noted for both paralogues within the INL being localized either to its vitreal or scleral subdivision, respectively. Interestingly, expression of prominin-1a within the former domain coincided with Pax-6-positive cells that are known to act as progenitors upon injury-induced retino-neurogenesis. A similar, but minute population of prominin-1-positive cells located at the vitreal side of the INL was also detected in developing and adult mice. In chicken, however, prominin-1-positive cells appeared to be aligned along the scleral side of the INL reminiscent of zebrafish prominin-1b. Taken together our data indicate that in addition to conserved expression of prominin-1 in photoreceptors, significant prominin-1-expressing non-photoreceptor retinal cell populations are present in the vertebrate eye that might represent potential sources of stem/progenitor cells for regenerative therapies.

  4. Precise control of miR-125b levels is required to create a regeneration-permissive environment after spinal cord injury: a cross-species comparison between salamander and rat

    Juan Felipe Diaz Quiroz


    Full Text Available Most spinal cord injuries lead to permanent paralysis in mammals. By contrast, the remarkable regenerative abilities of salamanders enable full functional recovery even from complete spinal cord transections. The molecular differences underlying this evolutionary divergence between mammals and amphibians are poorly understood. We focused on upstream regulators of gene expression as primary entry points into this question. We identified a group of microRNAs (miRNAs that are conserved between the Mexican axolotl salamander (Ambystoma mexicanum and mammals but show marked cross-species differences in regulation patterns following spinal cord injury. We found that precise post-injury levels of one of these miRNAs (miR-125b is essential for functional recovery, and guides correct regeneration of axons through the lesion site in a process involving the direct downstream target Sema4D in axolotls. Translating these results to a mammalian model, we increased miR-125b levels in the rat through mimic treatments following spinal cord transection. These treatments downregulated Sema4D and other glial-scar-related genes, and enhanced the animal’s functional recovery. Our study identifies a key regulatory molecule conserved between salamander and mammal, and shows that the expression of miR-125b and Sema4D must be carefully controlled in the right cells at the correct level to promote regeneration. We also show that these molecular components of the salamander’s regeneration-permissive environment can be experimentally harnessed to improve treatment outcomes for mammalian spinal cord injuries.

  5. Microarray and cDNA sequence analysis of transcription during nerve-dependent limb regeneration

    Bryant Susan V


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Microarray analysis and 454 cDNA sequencing were used to investigate a centuries-old problem in regenerative biology: the basis of nerve-dependent limb regeneration in salamanders. Innervated (NR and denervated (DL forelimbs of Mexican axolotls were amputated and transcripts were sampled after 0, 5, and 14 days of regeneration. Results Considerable similarity was observed between NR and DL transcriptional programs at 5 and 14 days post amputation (dpa. Genes with extracellular functions that are critical to wound healing were upregulated while muscle-specific genes were downregulated. Thus, many processes that are regulated during early limb regeneration do not depend upon nerve-derived factors. The majority of the transcriptional differences between NR and DL limbs were correlated with blastema formation; cell numbers increased in NR limbs after 5 dpa and this yielded distinct transcriptional signatures of cell proliferation in NR limbs at 14 dpa. These transcriptional signatures were not observed in DL limbs. Instead, gene expression changes within DL limbs suggest more diverse and protracted wound-healing responses. 454 cDNA sequencing complemented the microarray analysis by providing deeper sampling of transcriptional programs and associated biological processes. Assembly of new 454 cDNA sequences with existing expressed sequence tag (EST contigs from the Ambystoma EST database more than doubled (3935 to 9411 the number of non-redundant human-A. mexicanum orthologous sequences. Conclusion Many new candidate gene sequences were discovered for the first time and these will greatly enable future studies of wound healing, epigenetics, genome stability, and nerve-dependent blastema formation and outgrowth using the axolotl model.

  6. Visualisation of animal anatomy using MRI and CT

    Lauridsen, Henrik; Hansen, Kasper; Pedersen, Michael;

    Several traditional handbooks and web-based databases exist with descriptions of animal anatomy, providing dissection photographies or hand drawn images in explanatory figures. In recent years sophisticated databases have been developed providing unique 2D and 3D visualisations of the internal an...... digital models of animal soft and hard tissue anatomy in quality similar or superior to time consuming dissection, and we propose MRI and CT as valuable tools in future studies of animal anatomy in research and education.......Several traditional handbooks and web-based databases exist with descriptions of animal anatomy, providing dissection photographies or hand drawn images in explanatory figures. In recent years sophisticated databases have been developed providing unique 2D and 3D visualisations of the internal and...... imaging (MRI) and CT. Various species (tarantula, horseshoe crab, carp, haddock, lungfish, axolotl) were subjected to multi-slice MRI and CT protocols to produce 2D images of body slices, followed by volume rendering producing 3D digital models of animal anatomy with applications for visualising specific...

  7. Regeneration of soft tissues is promoted by MMP1 treatment after digit amputation in mice.

    Xiaodong Mu

    Full Text Available The ratio of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs to the tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs in wounded tissues strictly control the protease activity of MMPs, and therefore regulate the progress of wound closure, tissue regeneration and scar formation. Some amphibians (i.e. axolotl/newt demonstrate complete regeneration of missing or wounded digits and even limbs; MMPs play a critical role during amphibian regeneration. Conversely, mammalian wound healing re-establishes tissue integrity, but at the expense of scar tissue formation. The differences between amphibian regeneration and mammalian wound healing can be attributed to the greater ratio of MMPs to TIMPs in amphibian tissue. Previous studies have demonstrated the ability of MMP1 to effectively promote skeletal muscle regeneration by favoring extracellular matrix (ECM remodeling to enhance cell proliferation and migration. In this study, MMP1 was administered to the digits amputated at the mid-second phalanx of adult mice to observe its effect on digit regeneration. Results indicated that the regeneration of soft tissue and the rate of wound closure were significantly improved by MMP1 administration, but the elongation of the skeletal tissue was insignificantly affected. During digit regeneration, more mutipotent progenitor cells, capillary vasculature and neuromuscular-related tissues were observed in MMP1 treated tissues; moreover, there was less fibrotic tissue formed in treated digits. In summary, MMP1 was found to be effective in promoting wound healing in amputated digits of adult mice.

  8. Endogenous electric fields in embryos during development, regeneration and wound healing

    Nuccitelli, R


    All embryos that have been investigated drive ionic currents through themselves and these currents will generate internal electric fields. Here, those examples in which such fields have been measured directly are discussed. The first such measurements were made in chick embryos and about 20 mV mm-1 was measured near the posterier intestinal portal in 2-4-day-old embryos. This electric field is important for the development of tail structures because reducing its magnitude results in abnormal tail development. The second embryonic electric field measured directly was in the axolotl, where a rostral-caudal field of about the same magnitude was detected. Modification of this field during neurulation but not gastrulation caused developmental abnormalities. Most recently, the development of left-right asymmetry in frog and chick embryos was found to require a voltage difference between blastomeres at a very early developmental stage. This field was measured in the chick embryo to be 10-20 mV mm-1 across the primitive streak. Mammalian skin wounds generate 150 mV mm-1 fields lateral to the wound and corneal epidermal wounds exhibit lateral fields of 40 mV mm-1. The presence of these endogenous fields would suggest that exposures to external electric fields should be limited to magnitudes of less than 0.1 V m-1. (author)

  9. [Characterization of cDNA of T-cell receptor beta chain in rainbow trout].

    Partula, S; Fellah, J S; de Guerra, A; Charlemagne, J


    Using a two-step PCR strategy, we have cloned several cDNA segments encoding the T-cell receptor beta chain in a Teleost fish, the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). The nine clones analyzed encode identical N-terminal-truncated V beta regions which present limited sequence similarities with several mammalian TcR V beta chains, from residue Tyr-35 to residue Ser-95. These V beta regions are followed by V beta-D beta-J beta-like regions which are different in all the sequenced clones, and by identical C beta regions. The trout C beta domain (156 amino acids) is most related to the chicken and to amphibian (axolotl) C beta domains but no cysteine residue appears in the hinge region. Like in other vertebrate C beta s, the TM region carries a positively charged lysine residue (Lys-271). The intracytoplasmic domain is virtually absent. The possibility to analyze the structure, expression and diversity of a T-cell receptor chain in a Teleost fish model will be important for our future understanding of the evolution of specific immune recognition in vertebrates. PMID:7882160

  10. Analysis of signal processing in vestibular circuits with a novel light-emitting diodes-based fluorescence microscope.

    Direnberger, Stephan; Banchi, Roberto; Brosel, Sonja; Seebacher, Christian; Laimgruber, Stefan; Uhl, Rainer; Felmy, Felix; Straka, Hans; Kunz, Lars


    Optical visualization of neural network activity is limited by imaging system-dependent technical tradeoffs. To overcome these constraints, we have developed a powerful low-cost and flexible imaging system with high spectral variability and unique spatio-temporal precision for simultaneous optical recording and manipulation of neural activity of large cell groups. The system comprises eight high-power light-emitting diodes, a camera with a large metal-oxide-semiconductor sensor and a high numerical aperture water-dipping objective. It allows fast and precise control of excitation and simultaneous low noise imaging at high resolution. Adjustable apertures generated two independent areas of variable size and position for simultaneous optical activation and image capture. The experimental applicability of this system was explored in semi-isolated preparations of larval axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) with intact inner ear organs and central nervous circuits. Cyclic galvanic stimulation of semicircular canals together with glutamate- and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-uncaging caused a corresponding modulation of Ca(2+) transients in central vestibular neurons. These experiments revealed specific cellular properties as well as synaptic interactions between excitatory and inhibitory inputs, responsible for spatio-temporal-specific sensory signal processing. Location-specific GABA-uncaging revealed a potent inhibitory shunt of vestibular nerve afferent input in the predominating population of tonic vestibular neurons, indicating a considerable impact of local and commissural inhibitory circuits on the processing of head/body motion-related signals. The discovery of these previously unknown properties of vestibular computations demonstrates the merits of our novel microscope system for experimental applications in the field of neurobiology. PMID:25847143

  11. Epigenetic reprogramming of breast cancer cells with oocyte extracts

    Kumari Rajendra


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Breast cancer is a disease characterised by both genetic and epigenetic alterations. Epigenetic silencing of tumour suppressor genes is an early event in breast carcinogenesis and reversion of gene silencing by epigenetic reprogramming can provide clues to the mechanisms responsible for tumour initiation and progression. In this study we apply the reprogramming capacity of oocytes to cancer cells in order to study breast oncogenesis. Results We show that breast cancer cells can be directly reprogrammed by amphibian oocyte extracts. The reprogramming effect, after six hours of treatment, in the absence of DNA replication, includes DNA demethylation and removal of repressive histone marks at the promoters of tumour suppressor genes; also, expression of the silenced genes is re-activated in response to treatment. This activity is specific to oocytes as it is not elicited by extracts from ovulated eggs, and is present at very limited levels in extracts from mouse embryonic stem cells. Epigenetic reprogramming in oocyte extracts results in reduction of cancer cell growth under anchorage independent conditions and a reduction in tumour growth in mouse xenografts. Conclusions This study presents a new method to investigate tumour reversion by epigenetic reprogramming. After testing extracts from different sources, we found that axolotl oocyte extracts possess superior reprogramming ability, which reverses epigenetic silencing of tumour suppressor genes and tumorigenicity of breast cancer cells in a mouse xenograft model. Therefore this system can be extremely valuable for dissecting the mechanisms involved in tumour suppressor gene silencing and identifying molecular activities capable of arresting tumour growth. These applications can ultimately shed light on the contribution of epigenetic alterations in breast cancer and advance the development of epigenetic therapies.

  12. From biomedicine to natural history research: EST resources for ambystomatid salamanders

    Bryant Susan V


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Establishing genomic resources for closely related species will provide comparative insights that are crucial for understanding diversity and variability at multiple levels of biological organization. We developed ESTs for Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum and Eastern tiger salamander (A. tigrinum tigrinum, species with deep and diverse research histories. Results Approximately 40,000 quality cDNA sequences were isolated for these species from various tissues, including regenerating limb and tail. These sequences and an existing set of 16,030 cDNA sequences for A. mexicanum were processed to yield 35,413 and 20,599 high quality ESTs for A. mexicanum and A. t. tigrinum, respectively. Because the A. t. tigrinum ESTs were obtained primarily from a normalized library, an approximately equal number of contigs were obtained for each species, with 21,091 unique contigs identified overall. The 10,592 contigs that showed significant similarity to sequences from the human RefSeq database reflected a diverse array of molecular functions and biological processes, with many corresponding to genes expressed during spinal cord injury in rat and fin regeneration in zebrafish. To demonstrate the utility of these EST resources, we searched databases to identify probes for regeneration research, characterized intra- and interspecific nucleotide polymorphism, saturated a human – Ambystoma synteny group with marker loci, and extended PCR primer sets designed for A. mexicanum / A. t. tigrinum orthologues to a related tiger salamander species. Conclusions Our study highlights the value of developing resources in traditional model systems where the likelihood of information transfer to multiple, closely related taxa is high, thus simultaneously enabling both laboratory and natural history research.

  13. A Conserved MicroRNA Regulatory Circuit Is Differentially Controlled during Limb/Appendage Regeneration

    King, Benjamin L.; Yin, Viravuth P.


    Background Although regenerative capacity is evident throughout the animal kingdom, it is not equally distributed throughout evolution. For instance, complex limb/appendage regeneration is muted in mammals but enhanced in amphibians and teleosts. The defining characteristic of limb/appendage regenerative systems is the formation of a dedifferentiated tissue, termed blastema, which serves as the progenitor reservoir for regenerating tissues. In order to identify a genetic signature that accompanies blastema formation, we employ next-generation sequencing to identify shared, differentially regulated mRNAs and noncoding RNAs in three different, highly regenerative animal systems: zebrafish caudal fins, bichir pectoral fins and axolotl forelimbs. Results These studies identified a core group of 5 microRNAs (miRNAs) that were commonly upregulated and 5 miRNAs that were commonly downregulated, as well as 4 novel tRNAs fragments with sequences conserved with humans. To understand the potential function of these miRNAs, we built a network of 1,550 commonly differentially expressed mRNAs that had functional relationships to 11 orthologous blastema-associated genes. As miR-21 was the most highly upregulated and most highly expressed miRNA in all three models, we validated the expression of known target genes, including the tumor suppressor, pdcd4, and TGFβ receptor subunit, tgfbr2 and novel putative target genes such as the anti-apoptotic factor, bcl2l13, Choline kinase alpha, chka and the regulator of G-protein signaling, rgs5. Conclusions Our extensive analysis of RNA-seq transcriptome profiling studies in three regenerative animal models, that diverged in evolution ~420 million years ago, reveals a common miRNA-regulated genetic network of blastema genes. These comparative studies extend our current understanding of limb/appendage regeneration by identifying previously unassociated blastema genes and the extensive regulation by miRNAs, which could serve as a foundation