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.
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)
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.
Khattak, Shahryar; Tanaka, Elly M
Transgenic animals have been indispensable in elucidating and deciphering mechanisms underlying various biological phenomena. In regeneration, transgenic animals expressing fluorescent protein genes have been crucial for identifying the source cells for regeneration and the mechanism of blastema formation. Animals are usually generated by manipulating their genome using various techniques at/in one cell embryo/fertilized egg stage. Here, we describe the generation of germline transgenic axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) using the I-SceI meganuclease and Tol2 transposase.
A number of unusual traits, including a remarkable capacity for wound healing and limb regeneration, make the axolotl an interesting animal model. The author provides an overview of axolotl care and use in biomedical research.
Coots, Peggy S; Seifert, Ashley W
The axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) has remained an important model for regeneration and developmental biology for over a century. Although axolotls in captive-bred colonies usually exist in an aquatic form, they retain the ability to undergo metamorphosis following exposure to thyroid hormone. Here we present a robust method for inducing metamorphosis in adult axolotls that results in high survivability and produces terrestrial animals that can be maintained in long-term captivity.
Full Text Available The ability of axolotls to regenerate their limbs is almost legendary. In fact, urodeles such as the axolotl are the only vertebrates that can regenerate multiple structures like their limbs, jaws, tail, spinal cord, and skin (the list goes on throughout their lives. It is therefore surprising to realize, although we have known of their regenerative potential for over 200 years, how little we understand the mechanisms behind this achievement of adult tissue morphogenesis. Many observations can be drawn between regeneration and other disciplines such as development and wound healing. In this review, we present new developments in functional analysis that will help to address the role of specific genes during the process of regeneration. We also present an analysis of the resemblance between wound healing and regeneration, and discuss whether axolotls are superhealers. A better understanding of these animals' regenerative capacity could lead to major benefits by providing regenerative medicine with directions on how to develop therapeutic approaches leading to regeneration in humans.
Frost, S K; Epp, L G; Robinson, S J
A biochemical and transmission electron microscopic description of the wild-type pigment phenotype in developing Mexican axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) is presented. There are three pigment cell types found in adult axolotl skin - melanophores, xanthophores and iridophores. Both pigments and pigment cells undergo specific developmental changes in axolotls. Melanophores are the predominant pigment cell type throughout development; xanthophores occur secondarily and in fewer numbers than melanophores; iridophores do not appear until well into the larval stage and remain thereafter as the least frequently encountered pigment cell type. Ultrastructural differences in xanthophore organelle (pterinosome) structure at different developmental stages correlate with changes in the pattern of pteridine biosynthesis. Sepiapterin, a yellow pteridine, is present in larval axolotl skin but not in adults. Riboflavin (also yellow) is present in minimal quantities in larval skin and large quantities in adult axolotl skin. Pterinosomes undergo a morphological "reversion" at some point prior to or shortly after axolotls attain sexual maturity. Correlated with the neotenic state of the axolotl, certain larval pigmentary features are retained throughout development. Notably, the pigment cells remain scattered in the dermis such that no two pigment cell bodies overlap, although cell processes may overlap. This study forms the basis for comparison of the wild type pigment phenotype to the three mutant phenotypes-melanoid, axanthic and albino-found in the axolotl.
Farkas, Johanna E; Monaghan, James R
The aim of this paper is to assemble a significant amount of information on Ambystoma mexicanum, the axolotl salamander, to assist in the basic knowledge needed to raise, breed, and study most aspects of axolotl biology. It is important to understand the basic biology of the axolotl in order to make informed decisions on their proper care and use in experiments. Therefore, we will provide necessary information to the non-herpetologist that will assist in their study of this unique and fascinating animal. We also aim to provide a resource on the general anatomy, behavior, and experimental tips specific to the Mexican axolotl that will be of use to most axolotl laboratories. Axolotls have been actively researched since the 1860s, giving testament to their relatively straightforward maintenance and their versatility as an animal model for development and regeneration. Interest in using the axolotl in laboratory research has grown tremendously over the past decade, so dedicated resources to support the study of this species are needed and encouraged.
Denis, Jean-François; Sader, Fadi; Ferretti, Patrizia; Roy, Stéphane
The use of cells grown in vitro has been instrumental for multiple aspects of biomedical research and especially molecular and cellular biology. The ability to grow cells from multicellular organisms like humans, squids, or salamanders is important to simplify the analyses and experimental designs to help understand the biology of these organisms. The advent of the first cell culture has allowed scientists to tease apart the cellular functions, and in many situations these experiments help understand what is happening in the whole organism. In this chapter, we describe techniques for the culture and genetic manipulation of an established cell line from axolotl, a species widely used for studying epimorphic regeneration.
Vladimirova, I G
Changes in the weight and oxygen consumption were studied during regeneration of the tail in adult axolotls and larvae. The curve of the increase in weight of the regenerating tail in both age groups is S-shaped. The intensity of respiration of the regenerating tail increases in adult axolotls and in larvae at the blastema stage; in adult axolotls there is also a second increase in the intensity of respiration of the regenerating tail during differentiation of the muscles. The relationship between weight and the rate of respiration was compared during regeneration of the tail in axolotl and the normal growth of the animals. Whereas growth of the animals was characterized by the relationship QO2 equals aPk with a constant value of k, during regeneration the various stages of this process have their own corresponding values of k.
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.
Lopez, David; Lin, Li; Monaghan, James R; Cogle, Christopher R; Bova, Frank J; Maden, Malcolm; Scott, Edward W
Hematopoietic stem cell (HSC)-derived cells are involved in wound healing responses throughout the body. Unfortunately for mammals, wound repair typically results in scarring and nonfunctional reparation. Among vertebrates, none display such an extensive ability for adult regeneration as urodele amphibians, including 1 of the more popular models: the axolotl. However, a lack of knowledge of axolotl hematopoiesis hinders the use of this animal for the study of hematopoietic cells in scar-free wound healing and tissue regeneration. We used white and cytomegalovirus:green fluorescent protein(+) transgenic white axolotl strains to map sites of hematopoiesis and develop hematopoietic cell transplant methodology. We also established a fluorescence-activated cell sorter enrichment technique for major blood lineages and colony-forming unit assays for hematopoietic progenitors. The liver and spleen are both active sites of hematopoiesis in adult axolotls and contain transplantable HSCs capable of long-term multilineage blood reconstitution. As in zebrafish, use of the white axolotl mutant allows direct visualization of homing, engraftment, and hematopoiesis in real time. Donor-derived hematopoiesis occurred for >2 years in recipients generating stable hematopoietic chimeras. Organ segregation, made possible by embryonic microsurgeries wherein halves of 2 differently colored embryos were joined, indicate that the spleen is the definitive site of adult hematopoiesis.
Piekarski, Nadine; Olsson, Lennart
The segmental series of somites in the vertebrate embryo gives rise to the axial skeleton. In amniote models, single vertebrae are derived from the sclerotome of two adjacent somites. This process, known as resegmentation, is well-studied using the quail-chick chimeric system, but the presumed generality of resegmentation across vertebrates remains poorly evaluated. Resegmentation has been questioned in anamniotes, given that the sclerotome is much smaller and lacks obvious differentiation between cranial and caudal portions. Here, we provide the first experimental evidence that resegmentation does occur in a species of amphibian. Fate mapping of individual somites in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) revealed that individual vertebrae receive cells from two adjacent somites as in the chicken. These findings suggest that large size and segmentation of the sclerotome into distinct cranial and caudal portions are not requirements for resegmentation. Our results, in addition to those for zebrafish, indicate that resegmentation is a general process in building the vertebral column in vertebrates, although it may be achieved in different ways in different groups.
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.
Baddar, Nour W Al Haj; Woodcock, M Ryan; Khatri, Shivam; Kump, D Kevin; Voss, S Randal
Sal-Site serves axolotl research efforts by providing Web access to genomic data and information, and living stocks that are reared and made available by the Ambystoma Genetic Stock Center (AGSC). In this chapter, we detail how investigators can search for genes of interest among Sal-Site resources to identify orthologous nucleotide and protein-coding sequences, determine genome positions within the Ambystoma meiotic map, and obtain estimates of gene expression. In the near future, additional genomic resources will be made available for the axolotl, including a listing of genes that are partially or wholly contained within Bacterial Artificial Chromosome (BAC) vectors, a prioritized collection of deeply sequenced BAC clones, chromosome-specific assemblies of genomic DNA, and transgenic axolotls that are engineered using TALENs and CRISPRs. Also, services provided by the AGSC will be expanded to include microinjection of user constructs into single cell embryos and distribution of axolotl tissues, DNA, and RNA. In conclusion, Sal-Site is a useful resource that generates, shares, and evolves Ambystoma associated information and databases to serve research and education.
Reiß, Christian; Olsson, Lennart; Hoßfeld, Uwe
Today the Mexican axolotl is critically endangered in its natural habitat in lakes around Mexico City, but thrives in research laboratories around the world, where it is used for research on development, regeneration, and evolution. Here, we concentrate on the early history of the axolotl as a laboratory animal to celebrate that the first living axolotls arrived in Paris in 1864, 150 years ago. Maybe surprisingly, at first the axolotl was distributed across Europe without being tied to specific research questions, and amateurs engaged in acclimatization and aquarium movements played an important role for the rapid proliferation of the axolotl across the continent. But the aquarium also became an important part of the newly established laboratory, where more and more biological and medical research now took place. Early scientific interest focused on the anatomical peculiarities of the axolotl, its rare metamorphosis, and whether it was a larva or an adult. Later, axolotl data was used to argue both for (by August Weismann and others) and against (by e.g., Albert von Kölliker) Darwinism, and the axolotl even had a brief history as a laboratory animal used in a failed attempt to prove Lysenkoism in Jena, Germany. Nowadays, technical developments such as transgenic lines, and the very strong interest in stem cell and regeneration research has again catapulted the axolotl into becoming an important laboratory animal.
Guelke, Eileen; Bucan, Vesna; Liebsch, Christina; Lazaridis, Andrea; Radtke, Christine; Vogt, Peter M; Reimers, Kerstin
For the precise quantitative RT-PCR normalization a set of valid reference genes is obligatory. Moreover have to be taken into concern the experimental conditions as they bias the regulation of reference genes. Up till now, no reference targets have been described for the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). In a search in the public database SalSite for genetic information of the axolotl we identified fourteen presumptive reference genes, eleven of which were further tested for their gene expression stability. This study characterizes the expressional patterns of 11 putative endogenous control genes during axolotl limb regeneration and in an axolotl tissue panel. All 11 reference genes showed variable expression. Strikingly, ACTB was to be found most stable expressed in all comparative tissue groups, so we reason it to be suitable for all different kinds of axolotl tissue-type investigations. Moreover do we suggest GAPDH and RPLP0 as suitable for certain axolotl tissue analysis. When it comes to axolotl limb regeneration, a validated pair of reference genes is ODC and RPLP0. With these findings, new insights into axolotl gene expression profiling might be gained.
Demircan, Turan; Keskin, Ilknur; Dumlu, Seda Nilgün; Aytürk, Nilüfer; Avşaroğlu, Mahmut Erhan; Akgün, Emel; Öztürk, Gürkan; Baykal, Ahmet Tarık
Salamander axolotl has been emerging as an important model for stem cell research due to its powerful regenerative capacity. Several advantages, such as the high capability of advanced tissue, organ, and appendages regeneration, promote axolotl as an ideal model system to extend our current understanding on the mechanisms of regeneration. Acknowledging the common molecular pathways between amphibians and mammals, there is a great potential to translate the messages from axolotl research to mammalian studies. However, the utilization of axolotl is hindered due to the lack of reference databases of genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic data. Here, we introduce the proteome analysis of the axolotl tail section searched against an mRNA-seq database. We translated axolotl mRNA sequences to protein sequences and annotated these to process the LC-MS/MS data and identified 1001 nonredundant proteins. Functional classification of identified proteins was performed by gene ontology searches. The presence of some of the identified proteins was validated by in situ antibody labeling. Furthermore, we have analyzed the proteome expressional changes postamputation at three time points to evaluate the underlying mechanisms of the regeneration process. Taken together, this work expands the proteomics data of axolotl to contribute to its establishment as a fully utilized model.
Safi, Rachid; Bertrand, Stéphanie; Marchand, Oriane; Duffraisse, Marilyne; de Luze, Amaury; Vanacker, Jean-Marc; Maraninchi, Marie; Margotat, Alain; Demeneix, Barbara; Laudet, Vincent
Neotenic amphibians such as the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) are often unable to undergo metamorphosis under natural conditions. It is thought that neoteny represents a deviation from the standard course of amphibian ontogeny, affecting the thyroid axis at different levels from the central nervous system to peripheral organs. Thyroid hormone receptors (TRs) that bind the thyroid hormone (TH) T(3) have been described in axolotl. However, the full sequences of TR were needed to better characterize the TH response and to be able to assess their functional capacity at the molecular level. We report that each of the alpha and beta axolotl TRs bind both DNA and TH, and they activate transcription in response to TH in a mammalian cell-based transient transfection assay. Moreover, both TRs are expressed in axolotl tissues. Interestingly, each TR gene generates alternatively spliced isoforms, harboring partial or total deletions of the ligand-binding domain, which are expressed in vivo. Further, we found that in the axolotl, TH regulates the expression of stromelysin 3 and collagenase 3, which are TH target genes in Xenopus. Taken together, these results suggest that axolotl TRs are functional and that the molecular basis of neoteny in the axolotl is not linked to a major defect in TH response in peripheral tissues.
Donald M. Bryant
Full Text Available Mammals have extremely limited regenerative capabilities; however, axolotls are profoundly regenerative and can replace entire limbs. The mechanisms underlying limb regeneration remain poorly understood, partly because the enormous and incompletely sequenced genomes of axolotls have hindered the study of genes facilitating regeneration. We assembled and annotated a de novo transcriptome using RNA-sequencing profiles for a broad spectrum of tissues that is estimated to have near-complete sequence information for 88% of axolotl genes. We devised expression analyses that identified the axolotl orthologs of cirbp and kazald1 as highly expressed and enriched in blastemas. Using morpholino anti-sense oligonucleotides, we find evidence that cirbp plays a cytoprotective role during limb regeneration whereas manipulation of kazald1 expression disrupts regeneration. Our transcriptome and annotation resources greatly complement previous transcriptomic studies and will be a valuable resource for future research in regenerative biology.
Shimokawa, Takashi; Kominami, Rieko; Yasutaka, Satoru; Shinohara, Harumichi
Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) have the ability to regenerate amputated limbs throughout their life span. In the present study, we attempted to elucidate how axolotls can specify limb type correctly during the regeneration process. We misexpressed Tbx5 in regenerating hindlimb blastema, and consequently a forelimb-like hindlimb regenerated from the hindlimb blastema. On the other hand, no change was observed in Tbx5-overexpressing forelimb blastema, and thus we considered that Tbx5 plays a key role in the specification of forelimb during the regeneration process of axolotl limbs. However, axolotls' fore- and hindlimbs have very similar structures except for the number of fingers, and it was very difficult to judge whether the forelimb-like regenerate was a true forelimb or merely a forelimb-like hindlimb. Therefore, in order to confirm our conclusion, we have to investigate other genes that are expressed differentially between fore- and hindlimbs in future experiments.
Baltus, E; Hanocq-Quertier, J; Hanocq, F.; Brachet, J.
The presence of a ras protein was demonstrated in cleaving axolotl eggs by selective immunoprecipitation with a polyclonal antibody against a peptide encoded by the c-Ha-ras oncogene, cellular homolog of the v-Ha-ras oncogene of Harvey rat sarcoma virus. Injection of this antibody into axolotl oocytes subjected to progesterone treatment does not prevent meiotic maturation. Injection of the same antibody into a blastomere of axolotl eggs at the 2- or 4-cell stage causes cleavage arrest in the ...
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.
Lee, Jangwoo; Gardiner, David M
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.
Wang, Mu-Hui; Chiou, Ling-Ling; Tseng, Wen-Yih Isaac; Lee, Hsuan-Shu
Axolotls have amazing ability to regenerate their lost limbs. Our previous works showed that after amputation the remnant muscle ends remained at their original location whilst sending satellite cells into the regenerating parts to develop into early muscle fibers in the late differentiation stage. The parental and the newly formed muscle fibers were not connected until very late stage. The present study used non-invasive diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to monitor weekly axolotl upper arm muscles after amputation of their upper arms. DTI tractography showed that the regenerating muscle fibers became visible at 9-wpa (weeks post amputation), but a gap was observed between the regenerating and parental muscles. The gap was filled at 10-wpa, indicating reconnection of the fibers of both muscles. This was confirmed by histology. The DTI results indicate that 23% of the muscle fibers were reconnected at 10-wpa. In conclusion, DTI can be used to visualize axolotls’ skeletal muscles and the results of muscle reconnection were in accordance with our previous findings. This non-invasive technique will allow researchers to identify the timeframe in which muscle fiber reconnection takes place and thus enable the study of the mechanisms underlying this reconnection. PMID:28253344
Richman, A D; Herrera, G; Reynoso, V H; Méndez, G; Zambrano, L
The axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) has been characterized as immunodeficient, and the absence of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II polymorphism has been cited as a possible explanation. Here we present evidence for considerable allelic polymorphism at the MHC class II DAB locus for a sample of wild-caught axolotls. Evidence that these sequences are the product of balancing selection for disease resistance is discussed.
Frost, S K; Epp, L G; Robinson, S J
The albino mutant in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is analysed with respect to the differentiation of pigment cells. Pigment cells were observed with the transmission electron microscope in order to determine any unusual structural characteristics and to determine what happens to each of the cell types as development proceeds. Chemical analyses of pteridine pigments were also carried out, and the pattern of pteridines in albino animals was found to be more complex than, and quantitatively enhanced (at all developmental stages examined) over, the pattern observed in comparable wild-type axolotls. The golden colour of albino axolotls is due primarily to sepiapterin (a yellow pteridine) and secondarily to riboflavin (and other flavins). Coincident with enhanced levels of yellow pigments, xanthophore pigment organelles (pterinosomes) in albino skin reach a mature state earlier than they do in wild-type axolotl skin. This morphology is conserved throughout development in albino animals whereas it is gradually lost in the wild type. Unpigmented melanophores from albino axolotls are illustrated for the first time, and in larval albino axolotls the morphology of these cells is shown to be very similar to xanthophore morphology. In older animals xanthophores are easily distinguished from unpigmented melanophores. Iridophores seem to appear in albino skin at an earlier stage than they have been observed in wild-type skin. Morphologically, wild-type and albino iridophores are identical.
Eisthen, Heather L; Krause, Brianne Chung
Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) are aquatic salamanders that are widely used in research. Axolotls have been bred in laboratories for nearly 150 years, yet little is known about the basic biology of reproduction in these animals. We investigated the effects of changing day length, time of year, and food availability on levels of circulating estradiol and androgens in adult female and male axolotls, respectively. In addition, we examined the effects of these variables on the mass of ovaries, oviducts, and eggs in females and on mass of testes in males relative to each individual's body weight, to calculate a form of gonadosomatic index (GSI). In both sexes, GSI was not correlated with levels of circulating steroids. In female axolotls, estradiol levels were influenced by food availability, changes in day length, and season, even when animals were held at a constant temperature and day length was decorrelated with calendar date. In addition, the mass of ovaries, oviducts, and eggs varied seasonally, peaking in the winter months and declining during the summer months, even though our animals were not breeding and shedding eggs. In males, levels of androgens appeared to vary independently of external conditions, but GSI varied dramatically with changes in day length. These results suggest that reproduction in axolotls may vary seasonally, as it does in many other ambystomid species, although both male and female axolotls are capable of reproducing several times each year. The physiological basis of this ability remains enigmatic, given the indications of seasonality contained in our data.
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
Shioda, Chieko; Uchida, Kazuyuki; Nakayama, Hiroyuki
A one-year-old, female Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) had a rough-surfaced, polypoid, pink tumor mass of approximately 10 mm in diameter in the oral cavity. Histologically, the tumor extended from the ethmoturbinate region and into the oral cavity and had replaced some of the maxillary bone tissue. The tumor mass was composed of a lobular architecture of small round-shaped tumor cells with occasional Flexner-Wintersteiner-like rosette formation. There were no metastatic lesions in the other organs. Immunohistochemically, the tumor cells were partly positive for several neural markers (class III beta-tubulin, S-100 protein, and doublecortin) and intensely positive for an epithelial marker (cytokeratin AE1/AE3). These results suggest that the present tumor originated from neuroectodermal tissue. Considering the location and histological and immunohistochemical features of the tumor, a diagnosis of olfactory neuroblastoma was made.
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
Jacobs, G F; Kühn, E R
In male neotenic axolotls Ambystoma mexicanum plasma concentrations of thyroxine (T4) and testosterone were increased following intravenous injection of 10 micrograms luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone. A dose of 50 micrograms influenced only plasma T4 levels. This observation suggests for the first time that a hypothalamic hormone is capable of stimulating the thyroidal axis in the neotenic axolotl.
Khattak, Shahryar; Murawala, Prayag; Andreas, Heino; Kappert, Verena; Schuez, Maritta; Sandoval-Guzmán, Tatiana; Crawford, Karen; Tanaka, Elly M
The axolotl (Mexican salamander, Ambystoma mexicanum) has become a very useful model organism for studying limb and spinal cord regeneration because of its high regenerative capacity. Here we present a protocol for successfully mating and breeding axolotls in the laboratory throughout the year, for metamorphosing axolotls by a single i.p. injection and for axolotl transgenesis using I-SceI meganuclease and the mini Tol2 transposon system. Tol2-mediated transgenesis provides different features and advantages compared with I-SceI-mediated transgenesis, and it can result in more than 30% of animals expressing the transgene throughout their bodies so that they can be directly used for experimentation. By using Tol2-mediated transgenesis, experiments can be performed within weeks (e.g., 5-6 weeks for obtaining 2-3-cm-long larvae) without the need to establish germline transgenic lines (which take 12-18 months). In addition, we describe here tamoxifen-induced Cre-mediated recombination in transgenic axolotls.
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.
Hall, Kevin W; Eisthen, Heather L; Williams, Barry L
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.
Shimokawa, Takashi; Yasutaka, Satoru; Kominami, Rieko; Shinohara, Harumichi
Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) have the ability to regenerate amputated limbs throughout their life span. During limb regeneration as well as development, undifferentiated cells in the blastema acquire positional information to reproduce the original pattern along three cardinal limb axes: anteroposterior, proximodistal and dorsoventral. In the present study, we attempted to understand the molecular mechanism involved in patterning of axolotl limb development and regeneration along the dorsoventral (DV) axis. We cloned axolotl Lmx-1b and Wnt-7a, and investigated the expression pattern of these genes in developing and regenerating limbs. In axolotl, unlike in amniotes, Wnt-7a was expressed in a diffuse manner throughout both developing limb bud and regenerating limb blastema. Lmx-1b expression was observed at the dorsal mesenchyme in the developing and regenerating limbs. On the basis of the expression patterns of Lmx-1b and Wnt-7a, it was difficult to identify the interaction between these two genes as reported in amniotes in previous studies. Possibly, with regard to Lmx-1b expression, a Wnt-7a-independent mechanism may exist in axolotl limb development and 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.
Robles-Mendoza, Cecilia; Zúñiga-Lagunes, Sebastian R; Ponce de León-Hill, Claudia A; Hernández-Soto, Jesús; Vanegas-Pérez, Cecilia
The axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum is a neotenic salamander considered a good biological model due to its ability to regenerate limbs, tail, brain and heart cells. Nevertheless, severe reduction of A. mexicanum wild populations in the lacustrine area of Xochimilco, the natural habitat of the axolotl, could be related to several environmental pressures as the presence of organophosphate pesticides (OPPs), intensively applied in agricultural activities in Xochimilco. Thus the aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of environmentally realistic chlorpyrifos (CPF) concentrations, a OPP commonly used in this zone, on esterases activity (acetylcholinesterase and carboxylesterase) and bioconcentration of CPF and to relate them with the motor activity of A. mexicanum juveniles. Axolotls were exposed 48 h to 0.05 and 0.1mg CPF/L, and the responses were evaluated at the end of the CPF exposure. Results suggest that CPF is bioconcentrated into axolotls and that the CPF internal concentrations are related with the observed inhibition activity of AChE (>50%) and CbE (≈ 50%). CPF concentration responsible of the inhibition of the 50% of AChE activity (IC50) was estimated in 0.04 mg CPF/L; however IC50 for CbE activity was not possible to calculate since inhibition levels were lower than 50%, results that suggest a higher resistance of CbE enzymatic activity to CPF. However, motor activity was a more sensitive endpoint to CPF poisoning since time that axolotls spent active and walking, frequency and speed of swimming, frequency of prey attack were reduced >90% of control groups. The motor activity alterations in the axolotl could be related with the registered esterases inhibition. Thus important alterations on axolotls were identified even at short time and low concentrations of CPF exposure. Also, it was possible to link biochemical responses as esterases activity with higher levels of biological organization as behavior. This study provides tools for the regulation of the
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.
Armstrong, J B
In the Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, gynogenetic diploids can be produced by suppressing the release of the second polar body in eggs activated with irradiated sperm. If the female is heterozygous for a particular mutation, some of the progeny will be homozygous for the mutation. The proportion depends on the distance from the centromere and can be used to determine the gene--centromere (or gene-kinetochore) distance. The mapping function is based on the Neurospora tetrad mapping function. Several variations on this function, based on considerations of how coincidence varies with map distance, are considered. Three genes have been mapped: c at 5.9, t at 24.3, and m at 59.1 map units from their respective centromeres. Four other genes (a, ax, p, and the sex locus) appear to be distant from their centromeres but precise map distances cannot be determined. Based on these data, the total length of the genome has been estimated as at least 2600 map units.
Hanner, R H; Ryan, G B
Renal juxtaglomerular regions were examined in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum and toad (Bufo marinus). Prominent granulated peripolar epithelial cells were found surrounding the origin of the glomerular tuft in the axolotl. These cells resembled the peripolar cells recently discovered in mammalian species. They contained multiple electron-dense cytoplasmic granules, some of which showed a paracrystalline substructure and signs of exocytoxic activity. Such cells were difficult to find and smaller in the toad. In contrast, granulated juxtaglomerular arteriolar myoephithelial cells were much more readily found and larger in the toad than in the axolotl. No consistent differences were noted in juxtaglomerular cells or their granules in response to changes in environmental chloride concentration.
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.
Carlson, Bruce M.
Flexor and extensor muscles in the upper arms of axolotls were minced and cross-transplanted. The limbs were amputated 5 and 30 days after mincing. In each experiment a high percentage of the regenerates consisted of multiple limbs. This demonstrates that the morphogenetic information which produces
Robles-Mendoza, C; García-Basilio, C; Cram-Heydrich, S; Hernández-Quiroz, M; Vanegas-Pérez, C
Ambystoma mexicanum is an endemic salamander of Xochimilco, a wetland of the basin of Mexico valley. Nowadays, axolotl populations are decreasing due environmental stressors. Particularly, studies about organophosphorus pesticides (OPPs; i.e. chlorpyrifos and malathion) toxicity are of great importance due to their intensive use in agricultural activities in Xochimilco. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate under controlled conditions the toxicity of chlorpyrifos (CPF) and malathion (MLT) on embryos and larvae (stage 44 and 54) of A. mexicanum. Embryos and larvae were exposure 96h from 0.5 to 3mg CPFL(-1) and from 10 to 30mg MLTL(-1) in independent tests. Embryos at the end of this period were maintained 9d without pesticide in order to identify possible recuperation. Differences obtained in mortality, hatching success, development, morphological abnormalities, behaviour and activity, suggest that toxicity of CPF and MLT differs in embryos and larval stages. Embryos were less sensitive to OPPs acute exposure than axolotl larvae; additionally, toxicity of CPF in larval stages was greater than MLT. On the other hand, data obtained in axolotl embryos during the period of recuperation to CPF in particular as delay and inhibition of development, malformations and success of hatching, indicated that these responses turned out more sensitive than mortality. This study allowed to identify the toxicological potential of OPPs on early developmental stages of A. mexicanum and it is a valuable contribution for the future management of the axolotl wild population.
Maex, Margo; Van Bocxlaer, Ines; Mortier, Anneleen; Proost, Paul; Bossuyt, Franky
Sex pheromones have been shown to constitute a crucial aspect of salamander reproduction. Until now, courtship pheromones of Salamandridae and Plethodontidae have been intensively studied, but information on chemical communication in other urodelan families is essentially lacking. The axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum, Ambystomatidae) has a courtship display that suggests a key role for chemical communication in the orchestration of its sexual behavior, but no sex pheromones have yet been characterized from this species. Here we combined whole transcriptome analyses of the male cloaca with proteomic analyses of water in which axolotls were allowed to court to show that male axolotls secrete multiple ca. 20 kDa glycosylated sodefrin precursor-like factor (SPF) proteins during courtship. In combination with phylogenetic analyses, our data show that the male cloaca essentially secretes a courtship-specific clade of SPF proteins that is orthologous to salamandrid courtship pheromones. In addition, we identified an SPF protein for which no orthologs have been described from other salamanders so far. Overall, our study advocates a central role for SPF proteins during the courtship display of axolotls and adds knowledge on pheromone use in a previously unexplored deep evolutionary branch of salamander evolution.
Tassava, Roy A; Mendenhall, Luciara; Apseloff, Glen; Gerber, Nicholas
Gallium nitrate, a drug shown to have efficacy in Paget's disease of bone, hypercalcemia of malignancy, and a variety of experimental autoimmune diseases, also inhibits the growth of some types of cancer. We examined dose and timing of administration of gallium nitrate on limb regeneration in the Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum. Administered by intraperitoneal injection, gallium nitrate inhibited limb regeneration in a dose-dependent manner. Gallium nitrate initially suppressed epithelial wound healing and subsequently distorted both anterior-posterior and proximo-distal chondrogenic patterns. Gallium nitrate given at three days after amputation severely inhibited regeneration at high doses (6.25 mg/axolotl) and altered the normal patterning of the regenerates at low doses (3.75 mg/axolotl). Administration of 6.25 mg of gallium nitrate at four or 14 days prior to amputation also inhibited regeneration. In amputated limbs of gallium-treated axolotls, the chondrocytes were lost from inside the radius/ulna. Limbs that regenerated after gallium treatment was terminated showed blastema formation preferentially over the ulna. New cartilage of the regenerate often attached to the sides of the existing radius/ulna proximally into the stump and less so to the distal cut ends. J. Exp. Zool. 293:384-394, 2002.
Woodcock, M Ryan; Vaughn-Wolfe, Jennifer; Elias, Alexandra; Kump, D Kevin; Kendall, Katharina Denise; Timoshevskaya, Nataliya; Timoshevskiy, Vladimir; Perry, Dustin W; Smith, Jeramiah J; Spiewak, Jessica E; Parichy, David M; Voss, S Randal
The molecular genetic toolkit of the Mexican axolotl, a classic model organism, has matured to the point where it is now possible to identify genes for mutant phenotypes. We used a positional cloning-candidate gene approach to identify molecular bases for two historic axolotl pigment phenotypes: white and albino. White (d/d) mutants have defects in pigment cell morphogenesis and differentiation, whereas albino (a/a) mutants lack melanin. We identified in white mutants a transcriptional defect in endothelin 3 (edn3), encoding a peptide factor that promotes pigment cell migration and differentiation in other vertebrates. Transgenic restoration of Edn3 expression rescued the homozygous white mutant phenotype. We mapped the albino locus to tyrosinase (tyr) and identified polymorphisms shared between the albino allele (tyr (a) ) and tyr alleles in a Minnesota population of tiger salamanders from which the albino trait was introgressed. tyr (a) has a 142 bp deletion and similar engineered alleles recapitulated the albino phenotype. Finally, we show that historical introgression of tyr (a) significantly altered genomic composition of the laboratory axolotl, yielding a distinct, hybrid strain of ambystomatid salamander. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of identifying genes for traits in the laboratory Mexican axolotl.
Gearhart, Micah D; Erickson, Jami R; Walsh, Andrew; Echeverri, Karen
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.
Flowers, G Parker; Timberlake, Andrew T; McLean, Kaitlin C; Monaghan, James R; Crews, Craig M
Among tetrapods, only urodele salamanders, such as the axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum, can completely regenerate limbs as adults. The mystery of why salamanders, but not other animals, possess this ability has for generations captivated scientists seeking to induce this phenomenon in other vertebrates. Although many recent advances in molecular biology have allowed limb regeneration and tissue repair in the axolotl to be investigated in increasing detail, the molecular toolkit for the study of this process has been limited. Here, we report that the CRISPR-Cas9 RNA-guided nuclease system can efficiently create mutations at targeted sites within the axolotl genome. We identify individual animals treated with RNA-guided nucleases that have mutation frequencies close to 100% at targeted sites. We employ this technique to completely functionally ablate EGFP expression in transgenic animals and recapitulate developmental phenotypes produced by loss of the conserved gene brachyury. Thus, this advance allows a reverse genetic approach in the axolotl and will undoubtedly provide invaluable insight into the mechanisms of salamanders' unique regenerative ability.
Lauridsen, Henrik; Foldager, Casper Bindzus; Hagensen, Mette
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...
@@ The Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) provides and excellent model for studying heart development since it carries a simple recessive cardiac lethal mutation that results in a failure of mutant embryonic myocardium to contract.
Chernoff, E A; O'Hara, C M; Bauerle, D; Bowling, M
In urodele amphibian spinal cord regeneration, the ependymal cells lining the central canal remodel the lesion site to favor axonal regrowth. We profiled the production of matrix metalloproteinases by injury-reactive mesenchymal ependymal cells in vivo and in vitro and found that matrix metalloproteinases are involved in this remodeling process in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). The production of cell-associated matrix metalloproteinases in vivo was shown to be identical to that in our cultured ependymal cell model system. Activated and zymogen forms of matrix metalloproteinases were identified using zymography, chemical inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases, and cleavage of propeptides by organomercurials. The principal cellular proteinases consisted of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (gelatinase A) and matrix metalloproteinase-1 (type I collagenase), which display characteristic shifts in molecular weight following proenzyme processing by organomercurials. In addition, ependymal cell conditioned medium contained secreted forms of the enzyme undetectable in situ. Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (gelatinase B) as well as matrix metalloproteinase-2 and matrix metalloproteinase-1 were secreted and casein substrate zymography showed the presence of a small amount of a very high molecular weight matrix metalloproteinase-3 (prostromelysin) secreted into the culture medium. Matrix metalloproteinases were still present at 4 weeks post-lesioning when the ependymal cells have just re-epithelialized, but decreased near the completion of regeneration (8 weeks post-lesioning). Zymography showed no detectable matrix metalloproteinases in unlesioned cord but the presence of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 in intact cord was seen by Western blotting. This study shows that matrix metalloproteinases are associated with urodele spinal cord regeneration and validates the use of our ependymal cell tissue culture model system to evaluate ependymal cell behavior during spinal cord
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
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.
Hanner, R H; Ryan, G B
Renal juxtaglomerular regions were examined in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum and toad (Bufo marinus). Prominent granulated peripolar epithelial cells were found surrounding the origin of the glomerular tuft in the axolotl. These cells resembled the peripolar cells recently discovered in mammalian species. They contained multiple electron-dense cytoplasmic granules, some of which showed a paracrystalline substructure and signs of exocytoxic activity. Such cells were difficult to find and sm...
Nan, Changlong; Dube, Syamalima; Matoq, Amr; Mikesell, Lauren; Abbott, Lynn; Alshiekh-Nasany, Ruham; Chionuma, Henry; Huang, Xupei; Poiesz, Bernard J; Dube, Dipak K
We evaluated the effect of shz-1, a cardiogenic molecule, on the expression of various tropomyosin (TM) isoforms in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) hearts. qRT-PCR data show a ~1.5-fold increase in cardiac transcripts of the Nkx2.5 gene, which plays a crucial role in cardiogenesis in vertebrates. Shz-1 augments the expression of transcripts of the total sarcomeric TPM1 (both TPM1α & TPM1κ) and sarcomeric TPM4α. In order to understand the mechanism by which shz-1 augments the expression of sarcomeric TPM transcription in axolotl hearts, we transfected C2C12 cells with pGL3.axolotl. We transfected C2C12 cells with pGL3-axolotl TPM4 promoter constructs containing the firefly luciferase reporter gene. The transfected C2C12 cells were grown in the absence or presence of shz-1 (5 μM). Subsequently, we determined the firefly luciferase activity in the extracts of transfected cells. The results suggest that shz-1 activates the axolotl TPM4 promoter-driven ectopic expression in C2C12 cells. Also, we transfected C2C12 cells with a pGL3.1 vector containing the promoter of the mouse skeletal muscle troponin-I and observed a similar increase in the luciferase activity in shz-1-treated cells. We conclude that shz-1 activates the promoters of a variety of genes including axolotl TPM4. We have quantified the expression of the total sarcomeric TPM1 and observed a 1.5-fold increase in treated cells. Western blot analyses with CH1 monoclonal antibody specific for sarcomeric isoforms show that shz-1 does not increase the expression of TM protein in axolotl hearts, whereas it does in C2C12 cells. These findings support our hypothesis that cardiac TM expression in axolotl undergoes translational control.
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
Currie, Joshua D; Kawaguchi, Akane; Traspas, Ricardo Moreno; Schuez, Maritta; Chara, Osvaldo; Tanaka, Elly M
Connective tissues-skeleton, dermis, pericytes, fascia-are a key cell source for regenerating the patterned skeleton during axolotl appendage regeneration. This complexity has made it difficult to identify the cells that regenerate skeletal tissue. Inability to identify these cells has impeded a mechanistic understanding of blastema formation. By tracing cells during digit tip regeneration using brainbow transgenic axolotls, we show that cells from each connective tissue compartment have distinct spatial and temporal profiles of proliferation, migration, and differentiation. Chondrocytes proliferate but do not migrate into the regenerate. In contrast, pericytes proliferate, then migrate into the blastema and give rise solely to pericytes. Periskeletal cells and fibroblasts contribute the bulk of digit blastema cells and acquire diverse fates according to successive waves of migration that choreograph their proximal-distal and tissue contributions. We further show that platelet-derived growth factor signaling is a potent inducer of fibroblast migration, which is required to form the blastema.
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.
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.
Rodrigo Albors, Aida; Tazaki, Akira; Rost, Fabian; Nowoshilow, Sergej; Chara, Osvaldo; Tanaka, Elly M
Axolotls are uniquely able to mobilize neural stem cells to regenerate all missing regions of the spinal cord. How a neural stem cell under homeostasis converts after injury to a highly regenerative cell remains unknown. Here, we show that during regeneration, axolotl neural stem cells repress neurogenic genes and reactivate a transcriptional program similar to embryonic neuroepithelial cells. This dedifferentiation includes the acquisition of rapid cell cycles, the switch from neurogenic to proliferative divisions, and the re-expression of planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway components. We show that PCP induction is essential to reorient mitotic spindles along the anterior-posterior axis of elongation, and orthogonal to the cell apical-basal axis. Disruption of this property results in premature neurogenesis and halts regeneration. Our findings reveal a key role for PCP in coordinating the morphogenesis of spinal cord outgrowth with the switch from a homeostatic to a regenerative stem cell that restores missing tissue.
Mitogawa, Kazumasa; Makanae, Aki; Satoh, Ayano; Satoh, Akira
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.
Hilbig, R; Schmitt, M; Rahmann, H
Qualitative and quantitative changes in the concentration of proteins, sialoglycoproteins and gangliosides and in the composition of gangliosides in the brains of the neotene and the thyroxine-induced metamorphic newt axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) were investigated. During metamorphosis two polar gangliosides (GT1b and GQ1b) decreased by about 5% each. On the contrary GD1a increased to 10%. Another developmental trend was a slight increase of two other disialogangliosides (GD1b, GD2). Additionally, incorporation profiles (2-8 days) of 14C-N-Ac-mannosamine, the specific precursor for gangliosides, in the brain of neotene and metamorphic axolotls were followed giving evidence of significant changes in the sialoglycoconjugate metabolism of the central nervous system during metamorphosis of this newt.
Armstrong, J B; Gillespie, L L
When male axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) were treated with ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS) and mated at regular intervals thereafter, the incidence of embryonic abnormalities among the F1 progeny increased until a time was reached when none survived to hatching. At 100 mg/1 EMS, this point was reached about 130 days after treatment. Thereafter, the frequency of abnormalities gradually decreased to control levels. At higher concentrations, abnormalities were seen in spawnings obtained sooner after treatment, and also at earlier development stages. The pattern is similar to that reported for the mouse, which has been attributed to differential sensitivity of the various germ-cell stages to the mutagenic agent. The time course, however, is greatly extended in the axolotl. In future experiments we will be looking for gene mutations, primarily before and after the period of peak mortality.
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.
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 significant portion of the body part has been removed 1-3 . 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 4,5 . A wound-associated molecule that triggers ...
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.
Yew, D T
The eyes of Axolotl larvae were enucleated at stages 30 and 37. Animals with single dorsomedian eyes resulted in the first case (i.e. stage 30). When a piece of pigment epithelium was re-implanted into stage 37 animals at the site of the lesion, limited regeneration was observed when the implant formed a vesicle, but, when the pigment epithelium remained "open" regeneration of the neural retina was extensive. The possible resons for this difference was discussed.
Epperlein, Hans-Henning; Selleck, Mark A J; Meulemans, Daniel; Mchedlishvili, Levan; Cerny, Robert; Sobkow, Lidia; Bronner-Fraser, Marianne
Using cell markers and grafting, we examined the timing of migration and developmental potential of trunk neural crest cells in axolotl. No obvious differences in pathway choice were noted for DiI-labeling at different lateral or medial positions of the trunk neural folds in neurulae, which contributed not only to neural crest but also to Rohon-Beard neurons. Labeling wild-type dorsal trunks at pre- and early-migratory stages revealed that individual neural crest cells migrate away from the neural tube along two main routes: first, dorsolaterally between the epidermis and somites and, later, ventromedially between the somites and neural tube/notochord. Dorsolaterally migrating crest primarily forms pigment cells, with those from anterior (but not mid or posterior) trunk neural folds also contributing glia and neurons to the lateral line. White mutants have impaired dorsolateral but normal ventromedial migration. At late migratory stages, most labeled cells move along the ventromedial pathway or into the dorsal fin. Contrasting with other anamniotes, axolotl has a minor neural crest contribution to the dorsal fin, most of which arises from the dermomyotome. Taken together, the results reveal stereotypic migration and differentiation of neural crest cells in axolotl that differ from other vertebrates in timing of entry onto the dorsolateral pathway and extent of contribution to some derivatives.
Ackerly, Kerri L; Ward, Andrea B
Environmental conditions during early development in ectothermic vertebrates can lead to variation in vertebral number among individuals of the same species. It is often seen that individuals of a species raised at cooler temperatures have more vertebrae than individuals raised at warmer temperatures, although the functional consequences of this variation in vertebral number on swimming performance are relatively unclear. To investigate this relationship, we tested how vertebral number in axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) affected performance of aquatic escape responses (C-starts). Axolotls were reared at four temperatures (12-24°C) encompassing their natural thermal range and then transitioned to a mean temperature (18°C) three months before C-starts were recorded. Our results showed variation in vertebral number, but that variation was not significantly affected by developmental temperature. C-start performance among axolotls was significantly correlated with caudal vertebral number, and individuals with more caudal vertebrae were able to achieve greater curvature more quickly during their responses than individuals with fewer vertebrae. However, our results show that these individuals did not achieve greater displacements or velocities, and that developmental temperature did not have any effect on C-start performance. We highlight that the most important aspects of escape swim performance (i.e., how far individuals get from a threat and how quickly they move the most important parts of the body away from that threat) are consistent across individuals regardless of developmental temperature and morphological variation.
Rost, Fabian; Albors, Aida Rodrigo; Mazurov, Vladimir; Brusch, Lutz; Deutsch, Andreas
Axolotls are unique in their ability to regenerate the spinal cord. However, the mechanisms that underlie this phenomenon remain poorly understood. Previously, we showed that regenerating stem cells in the axolotl spinal cord revert to a molecular state resembling embryonic neuroepithelial cells and functionally acquire rapid proliferative divisions (Rodrigo Albors et al., 2015). Here, we refine the analysis of cell proliferation in space and time and identify a high-proliferation zone in the regenerating spinal cord that shifts posteriorly over time. By tracking sparsely-labeled cells, we also quantify cell influx into the regenerate. Taking a mathematical modeling approach, we integrate these quantitative datasets of cell proliferation, neural stem cell activation and cell influx, to predict regenerative tissue outgrowth. Our model shows that while cell influx and neural stem cell activation play a minor role, the acceleration of the cell cycle is the major driver of regenerative spinal cord outgrowth in axolotls. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.20357.001 PMID:27885987
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.
Farkas, Johanna E; Freitas, Polina D; Bryant, Donald M; Whited, Jessica L; Monaghan, James R
The Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is capable of fully regenerating amputated limbs, but denervation of the limb inhibits the formation of the post-injury proliferative mass called the blastema. The molecular basis behind this phenomenon remains poorly understood, but previous studies have suggested that nerves support regeneration via the secretion of essential growth-promoting factors. An essential nerve-derived factor must be found in the blastema, capable of rescuing regeneration in denervated limbs, and its inhibition must prevent regeneration. Here, we show that the neuronally secreted protein Neuregulin-1 (NRG1) fulfills all these criteria in the axolotl. Immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization of NRG1 and its active receptor ErbB2 revealed that they are expressed in regenerating blastemas but lost upon denervation. NRG1 was localized to the wound epithelium prior to blastema formation and was later strongly expressed in proliferating blastemal cells. Supplementation by implantation of NRG1-soaked beads rescued regeneration to digits in denervated limbs, and pharmacological inhibition of NRG1 signaling reduced cell proliferation, blocked blastema formation and induced aberrant collagen deposition in fully innervated limbs. Taken together, our results show that nerve-dependent NRG1/ErbB2 signaling promotes blastemal proliferation in the regenerating limb and may play an essential role in blastema formation, thus providing insight into the longstanding question of why nerves are required for axolotl limb regeneration.
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: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13998.001 PMID:27156560
Chatfield, Jodie; O'Reilly, Marie-Anne; Bachvarova, Rosemary F; Ferjentsik, Zoltan; Redwood, Catherine; Walmsley, Maggie; Patient, Roger; Loose, Mathew; Johnson, Andrew D
A common feature of development in most vertebrate models is the early segregation of the germ line from the soma. For example, in Xenopus and zebrafish embryos primordial germ cells (PGCs) are specified by germ plasm that is inherited from the egg; in mice, Blimp1 expression in the epiblast mediates the commitment of cells to the germ line. How these disparate mechanisms of PGC specification evolved is unknown. Here, in order to identify the ancestral mechanism of PGC specification in vertebrates, we studied PGC specification in embryos from the axolotl (Mexican salamander), a model for the tetrapod ancestor. In the axolotl, PGCs develop within mesoderm, and classic studies have reported their induction from primitive ectoderm (animal cap). We used an axolotl animal cap system to demonstrate that signalling through FGF and BMP4 induces PGCs. The role of FGF was then confirmed in vivo. We also showed PGC induction by Brachyury, in the presence of BMP4. These conditions induced pluripotent mesodermal precursors that give rise to a variety of somatic cell types, in addition to PGCs. Irreversible restriction of the germ line did not occur until the mid-tailbud stage, days after the somatic germ layers are established. Before this, germline potential was maintained by MAP kinase signalling. We propose that this stochastic mechanism of PGC specification, from mesodermal precursors, is conserved in vertebrates.
André, Sébastien; Kerfourn, Fabienne; Affaticati, Pierre; Guerci, Aline; Ravassard, Philippe; Fellah, Julien S
Gammadelta T cells localize at mammalian epithelial surfaces to exert both protective and regulatory roles in response to infections. We have previously characterized the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) T cell receptor delta (TRD) chain. In this study, TRD repertoires in spleen, liver, intestine and skin from larvae, pre-adult and adult axolotls were examined and compared to the thymic TRD repertoire. A TRDV transcript without N/D diversity, TRDV1S1-TRDJ1, dominates the TRD repertoires until sexual maturation. In adult tissues, this canonical transcript is replaced by another dominant TRDV1S1-TRDJ1 transcript. In the thymus, these two transcripts are detected early in development. Our results suggest that gammadelta T cells that express the canonical TRDV1S1-TRDJ1 transcript emerge from the thymus and colonize the peripheral tissues, where they are selectively expanded by recurrent ligands. This particular situation is probably related to the neotenic state and the slow development of the axolotl. In thymectomized axolotls, TRD repertoires appear different from those of normal axolotls, suggesting that extrathymic gammadelta T cell differentiation could occur. Gene expression analysis showed the importance of the gut in T cell development.
Loong, Ai M; Chew, Shit F; Ip, Yuen K
The fully grown but nonmetamorphosed (juvenile) axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum was ureogenic and primarily ureotelic in water. A complete ornithine-urea cycle (OUC) was present in the liver. Aerial exposure impeded urea (but not ammonia) excretion, leading to a decrease in the percentage of nitrogen excreted as urea in the first 24 h. However, urea and not ammonia accumulated in the muscle, liver, and plasma during aerial exposure. By 48 h, the rate of urea excretion recovered fully, probably due to the greater urea concentration gradient in the kidney. It is generally accepted that an increase in carbamoyl phosphate synthetase activity is especially critical in the developmental transition from ammonotelism to ureotelism in the amphibian. Results from this study indicate that such a transition in A. mexicanum would have occurred before migration to land. Aerial exposure for 72 h exhibited no significant effect on carbamoyl phosphate synthetase-I activity or that of other OUC enzymes (with the exception of ornithine transcarbamoylase) from the liver of the juvenile A. mexicanum. This supports our hypothesis that the capacities of OUC enzymes present in the liver of the aquatic juvenile axolotl were adequate to prepare it for its invasion of the terrestrial environment. The high OUC capacity was further supported by the capability of the juvenile A. mexicanum to survive in 10 mM NH(4)Cl without accumulating amino acids in its body. The majority of the accumulating endogenous and exogenous ammonia was detoxified to urea, which led to a greater than twofold increase in urea levels in the muscle, liver, and plasma and a significant increase in urea excretion by hour 96. Hence, it can be concluded that the juvenile axolotl acquired ureotelism while submerged in water, and its hepatic capacity of urea synthesis was more than adequate to handle the toxicity of endogenous ammonia during migration to land.
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.
Holman, Edna C; Campbell, Leah J; Hines, John; Crews, Craig M
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.
Bukowski, L; Erickson, K; Lyerla, T A
The yellow pigment observed in older axanthic (ax/ax) mutant Mexican axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) was analyzed by thin layer chromatography and by spectrofluorometry of its acetyl derivative. Ethanol extracts from the skin of axanthic animals were acetylated and the chloroform-soluble portion of the product mixture was compared with a chloroform solution of an authentic riboflavin tetraacetate standard prepared in the same manner. The pigment in these two solutions behaved identically on thin layer chromatograms and in fluorescent emission spectroscopy. This confirms that the yellow pigment seen in these genetically axanthic animals is riboflavin and, since it cannot be synthesized by the animal, must be derived from the diet.
Carlson, Bruce M.
Rotation of a skin cuff 180° around the proximodistal axis of the upper arm in the axolotl results in the formation of multiple regenerates in about 80° of cases after amputation of the limb through the rotated skin. Rotation of the dermis or the flexor and extensor muscles folowed by amputation pro
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.
Haugan, Birgitte M; Halberg, Kenneth Agerlin; Jespersen, Åse
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...
Vladimirova, I G; Kleĭmenov, S Iu; Alekseeva, T A; Radzinskaia, L I
Concordant changes in the rate of energy metabolism and specific growth rate of axolotls have been revealed. Several periods of ontogeny are distinguished, which differ in the ratio of energy metabolism to body weight and, therefore, are described by different allometric equations. It is suggested that the specific growth rate of an animal determines the type of dependence of energy metabolism on body weight.
Zhang, C; Pietras, K M; Sferrazza, G F; Jia, P; Athauda, G; Rueda-de-Leon, E; Rveda-de-Leon, E; Maier, J A; Dube, D K; Lemanski, S L; Lemanski, L F
The Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, is an excellent animal model for studying heart development because it carries a naturally occurring recessive genetic mutation, designated gene c, for cardiac nonfunction. The double recessive mutants (c/c) fail to form organized myofibrils in the cardiac myoblasts resulting in hearts that fail to beat. Tropomyosin expression patterns have been studied in detail and show dramatically decreased expression in the hearts of homozygous mutant embryos. Because of the direct interaction between tropomyosin and troponin T (TnT), and the crucial functions of TnT in the regulation of striated muscle contraction, we have expanded our studies on this animal model to characterize the expression of the TnT gene in cardiac muscle throughout normal axolotl development as well as in mutant axolotls. In addition, we have succeeded in cloning the full-length cardiac troponin T (cTnT) cDNA from axolotl hearts. Confocal microscopy has shown a substantial, but reduced, expression of TnT protein in the mutant hearts when compared to normal during embryonic development.
Debuque, Ryan J; Godwin, James W
The vertebrate immune system comprises both adaptive and innate immune cells with distinct functions during the resolution of inflammation and wound healing after tissue injury. Recent evidence implicates a requirement for innate immune cells from the myeloid lineage during the early stages of limb regeneration in the Mexican axolotl. Understanding the functions of innate and adaptive immune cells in the axolotl has been hampered by a lack of approaches to isolate and analyze these cells. Here we describe a protocol to isolate myeloid cells from the regenerating axolotl limb that incorporates intravenous delivery of physiological labels. In addition we provide a protocol to enrich for leukocytes in the peripheral blood. These protocols produce single-cell suspensions that can be analyzed using flow cytometry or sorted into specific subsets using fluorescent-activated cell sorting (FACS). FACS is a routine approach to sort cells based on their physical characteristics as well as their cell surface antigen repertoire. Isolated cell populations can then be analyzed in a wide range of downstream assays to facilitate a greater understanding of leukocyte biology in the axolotl.
Mousley, Angela; Polese, Gianluca; Marks, Nikki J; Eisthen, Heather L
The vertebrate brain actively regulates incoming sensory information, effectively filtering input and focusing attention toward environmental stimuli that are most relevant to the animal's behavioral context or physiological state. Such centrifugal modulation has been shown to play an important role in processing in the retina and cochlea, but has received relatively little attention in olfaction. The terminal nerve, a cranial nerve that extends underneath the lamina propria surrounding the olfactory epithelium, displays anatomical and neurochemical characteristics that suggest that it modulates activity in the olfactory epithelium. Using immunocytochemical techniques, we demonstrate that neuropeptide Y (NPY) is abundantly present in the terminal nerve in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), an aquatic salamander. Because NPY plays an important role in regulating appetite and hunger in many vertebrates, we investigated the possibility that NPY modulates activity in the olfactory epithelium in relation to the animal's hunger level. We therefore characterized the full-length NPY gene from axolotls to enable synthesis of authentic axolotl NPY for use in electrophysiological experiments. We find that axolotl NPY modulates olfactory epithelial responses evoked by l-glutamic acid, a food-related odorant, but only in hungry animals. Similarly, whole-cell patch-clamp recordings demonstrate that bath application of axolotl NPY enhances the magnitude of a tetrodotoxin-sensitive inward current, but only in hungry animals. These results suggest that expression or activity of NPY receptors in the olfactory epithelium may change with hunger level, and that terminal nerve-derived peptides modulate activity in the olfactory epithelium in response to an animal's changing behavioral and physiological circumstances.
Wigston, D J; Kennedy, P R
The motoneurons innervating 3 hindlimb extensor muscles, anterior and posterior iliotibialis and iliofibularis, were studied separately by retrograde labeling with HRP. The motor pools for these 3 muscles overlapped to such an extent that individual motoneurons between ventral roots 16 and 17 could not be assigned unambiguously to one pool or another. Thus, conventional retrograde labeling could not identify particular axolotl motoneurons. Instead, a double retrograde-labeling technique was employed to mark the motoneurons innervating a particular muscle, the left posterior iliotibialis. Either diamidino yellow (DY) or HRP satisfactorily labeled axolotl motoneurons for at least 3 months in vivo. After labeling, both anterior and posterior iliotibialis muscles were removed from the injected limb and replaced with their counterparts from the opposite limb, in reversed anterior-posterior orientation. Several weeks later, a second marker (DY or HRP) injected into the posterior iliotibialis muscle in its new, more anterior, position labeled the neurons that reinnervated this muscle; the number of neurons labeled with both first and second tracers gave an indication of the selectivity of reinnervation. Using this approach, we have found that the majority of neurons reinnervating a particular muscle are members of that muscle's original motor pool.
Park, D; McGuire, J M; Majchrzak, A L; Ziobro, J M; Eisthen, H L
Chemosensory cues play an important role in the daily lives of salamanders, mediating foraging, conspecific recognition, and territorial advertising. We investigated the behavioral effects of conspecific whole-body odorants in axolotls, Ambystoma mexicanum, a salamander species that is fully aquatic. We found that males increased general activity when exposed to female odorants, but that activity levels in females were not affected by conspecific odorants. Although males showed no difference in courtship displays across testing conditions, females performed courtship displays only in response to male odorants. We also found that electro-olfactogram responses from the olfactory and vomeronasal epithelia were larger in response to whole-body odorants from the opposite sex than from the same sex. In males, odorants from gravid and recently spawned females evoked different electro-olfactogram responses at some locations in the olfactory and vomeronasal epithelia; in general, however, few consistent differences between the olfactory and vomeronasal epithelia were observed. Finally, post hoc analyses indicate that experience with opposite-sex conspecifics affects some behavioral and electrophysiological responses. Overall, our data indicate that chemical cues from conspecifics affect general activity and courtship behavior in axolotls, and that both the olfactory and vomeronasal systems may be involved in discriminating the sex and reproductive condition of conspecifics.
Harshbarger, J.C.; Chang, S.C.; DeLanney, L.E.; Rose, F.L.; Green, D.E.
Spontaneous mastocytomas studied in 18 axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) and six tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum) were gray-white, uni- to multilobular cutaneous protrusions from 2mm to 2cm in diameter. Tumors were moderately cellular unencapsulated masses that usually infiltrated the dermis and hypodermis with the destruction of intervening tissues. Some tumors were invading superficial bundles of the underlying skeletal muscle. Tumors consisted of mitotically active cells derived from a single lineage but showing a range of differentiation. Immature cells had nearly smooth to lightly cleft or folded basophilic nuclei bordered by a band of cytoplasm with few cytoplasmic processes and containing a few small uniform eccentric granules. Mature cells had basophilic nuclei with deep clefts or folds and abundant eosinophilic cytoplasm with multiple long intertwining cytoplasmic extensions packed with metachromatic granules. The axolotls were old individuals from an inbred laboratory colony. The tiger salamanders were wild animals from a single polluted pond. They could have been old and inbred. Both groups were neotenic. These are the first mastocytomas discovered in cold-blooded animals.
Jarial, M S; Wilkins, J H
The ultrastructure of the external gill epithelium of the axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, has been examined using conventional transmission electron microscopy to elucidate its role in ionic transport. Four cell types are identified in the gill filament and primary gill bar epithelium. These are granular, ciliated, Leydig and basal cells. A fifth cell type, the flat mitochondria-rich cell is only found in the gill bar epithelium. The predominant granular cells display microvilli at their surface and their cytoplasm contains abundant mitochondria, rough endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi complexes, vesicles and PAS+ secretory granules that are extruded at the surface, which along with secretions from the Leydig cells form a mucous coat. The granular cells are joined apically by junctional complexes consisting of zonulae occludens, zonulae adherens and desmosomes. The lateral membranes of granular cells enclose large intercellular spaces that are closed at the apical ends but remain open at the basal ends adjoining capillaries. In AgNO3-treated axolotl, the gills become darkly stained, the silver grains penetrate apical membranes and appear in the cytoplasm, accumulating near the lateral membranes and also enter the intercellular spaces. These findings are consistent with the dual role of the gill epithelium in mucus production and active ionic transport.
Harshbarger, J C; Chang, S C; DeLanney, L E; Rose, F L; Green, D E
Spontaneous mastocytomas studied in 18 axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) and six tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum) were gray-white, uni- to multilobular cutaneous protrusions from 2 mm to 2 cm in diameter. Tumors were moderately cellular unencapsulated masses that usually infiltrated the dermis and hypodermis with the destruction of intervening tissues. Some tumors were invading superficial bundles of the underlying skeletal muscle. Tumors consisted of mitotically active cells derived from a single lineage but showing a range of differentiation. Immature cells had nearly smooth to lightly cleft or folded basophilic nuclei bordered by a band of cytoplasm with few cytoplasmic processes and containing a few small uniform eccentric granules. Mature cells had basophilic nuclei with deep clefts or folds and abundant eosinophilic cytoplasm with multiple long intertwining cytoplasmic extensions packed with metachromatic granules. The axolotls were old individuals from an inbred laboratory colony. The tiger salamanders were wild animals from a single polluted pond. They could have been old and inbred. Both groups were neotenic. These are the first mastocytomas discovered in cold-blooded animals.
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.
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.
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.
Sefton, Elizabeth M; Piekarski, Nadine; Hanken, James
The impressive morphological diversification of vertebrates was achieved in part by innovation and modification of the pharyngeal skeleton. Extensive fate mapping in amniote models has revealed a primarily cranial neural crest derivation of the pharyngeal skeleton. Although comparable fate maps of amphibians produced over several decades have failed to document a neural crest derivation of ventromedial elements in these vertebrates, a recent report provides evidence of a mesodermal origin of one of these elements, basibranchial 2, in the axolotl. We used a transgenic labeling protocol and grafts of labeled cells between GFP+ and white embryos to derive a fate map that describes contributions of both cranial neural crest and mesoderm to the axolotl pharyngeal skeleton, and we conducted additional experiments that probe the mechanisms that underlie mesodermal patterning. Our fate map confirms a dual embryonic origin of the pharyngeal skeleton in urodeles, including derivation of basibranchial 2 from mesoderm closely associated with the second heart field. Additionally, heterotopic transplantation experiments reveal lineage restriction of mesodermal cells that contribute to pharyngeal cartilage. The mesoderm-derived component of the pharyngeal skeleton appears to be particularly sensitive to retinoic acid (RA): administration of exogenous RA leads to loss of the second basibranchial, but not the first. Neural crest was undoubtedly critical in the evolution of the vertebrate pharyngeal skeleton, but mesoderm may have played a central role in forming ventromedial elements, in particular. When and how many times during vertebrate phylogeny a mesodermal contribution to the pharyngeal skeleton evolved remain to be resolved.
Del Rincón, Sonia V; Scadding, Steven R
Retinoic acid (RA) has been detected in the regenerating limb of the axolotl, and exogenous RA can proximalize, posteriorize, and ventralize blastemal cells. Thus, RA may be an endogenous regulatory factor during limb regeneration. We have investigated whether endogenous retinoids are essential for patterning during axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) limb regeneration by using retinoid antagonists that bind to specific RAR (retinoic acid receptor) or RXR (retinoid X receptor) retinoid receptor subtypes. Retinoid antagonists (Ro41-5253, Ro61-8431, LE135, and LE540) were administered to regenerating limbs using implanted silastin blocks loaded with each antagonist. The skeletal pattern of regenerated limbs treated with Ro41-5253 or Ro61-8431 differed only slightly from control limbs. Treatment with LE135 inhibited limb regeneration, while treatment with LE540 allowed relatively normal limb regeneration. When LE135 and LE540 were implanted together, regeneration was not completely inhibited and a hand-like process regenerated. These results demonstrate that interfering with retinoid receptors can modify pattern in the regenerating limb indicating that endogenous retinoids are important during patterning of the regenerating limb.
Thompson, Sierra; Muzinic, Laura; Muzinic, Christopher; Niemiller, Matthew L; Voss, S Randal
Multiple factors are thought to cause limb abnormalities in amphibian populations by altering processes of limb development and regeneration. We examined adult and juvenile axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) in the Ambystoma Genetic Stock Center (AGSC) for limb and digit abnormalities to investigate the probability of normal regeneration after bite injury. We observed that 80% of larval salamanders show evidence of bite injury at the time of transition from group housing to solitary housing. Among 717 adult axolotls that were surveyed, which included solitary-housed males and group-housed females, approximately half presented abnormalities, including examples of extra or missing digits and limbs, fused digits, and digits growing from atypical anatomical positions. Bite injury likely explains these limb defects, and not abnormal development, because limbs with normal anatomy regenerated after performing rostral amputations. We infer that only 43% of AGSC larvae will present four anatomically normal looking adult limbs after incurring a bite injury. Our results show regeneration of normal limb anatomy to be less than perfect after bite injury.
Rodrigo Albors, Aida; Tanaka, Elly M
Axolotls are well known for their remarkable ability to regenerate complex body parts and structures throughout life, including the entire limb and tail. Particularly fascinating is their ability to regenerate a fully functional spinal cord after losing the tail. Electroporation of DNA plasmids or morpholinos is a valuable tool to gain mechanistic insight into the cellular and molecular basis of regeneration. It provides among other advantages a simple and fast method to test gene function in a temporally and spatially controlled manner. Some classic drawbacks of the method, such as low transfection efficiency and damage to the tissue, had hindered our understanding of the contribution of different signaling pathways to regeneration. Here, we describe a comprehensive protocol for electroporation of the axolotl spinal cord that overcomes this limitations using a combination of high-voltage and short-length pulses followed by lower-voltage and longer-length pulses. Our approach yields highly efficient transfection of spinal cord cells with minimal tissue damage, which now allows the molecular dissection of spinal cord regeneration.
Satoh, Akira; Makanae, Aki
Urodele amphibians can regenerate their limbs after amputation. After amputation, undifferentiated cells appear on the amputation plane and form regeneration blastema. A limb blastema recreates a complete replica of the original limb. It is well known that disturbance of the location of limb tissues prior to amputation perturbs limb patterning, suggesting that different intact limb tissues carry different location information despite their identical appearance. The cause of such differences in intact tissues remains unknown. In this study, we found that Lmx1b, Tbx2, and Tbx3 genes, which are expressed in developing limb in a region specific manner, remained detectable in a mature axolotl limb. Furthermore, those position-specific gene expression patterns were conserved in mature limbs. Treatment with retinoic acid (RA), which is known to have ventralizing activity, changed Lmx1b expression in intact dorsal skin and dorsal character to ventral, indicating that conserved Lmx1b expression was due to the dorsal character and not leaky gene expression. Furthermore, we found that such conserved gene expression was rewritable in regeneration blastemas. These results suggest that axolotl limb cells can recognize their locations and maintain limbness via conserved expression profiles of developmental genes.
Is salamander hindlimb regeneration similar to that of the forelimb? Anatomical and morphogenetic analysis of hindlimb muscle regeneration in GFP-transgenic axolotls as a basis for regenerative and developmental studies.
Diogo, R; Murawala, P; Tanaka, E M
The axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum is one of the most used model organisms in developmental and regenerative studies because it is commonly said that it can reconstitute a normal and fully functional forelimb/hindlimb after amputation. However, there is not a publication that has described in detail the regeneration of the axolotl hindlimb muscles. Here we describe and illustrate, for the first time, the regeneration of the thigh, leg and foot muscles in transgenic axolotls that express green fluorescent protein in muscle fibers and compare our results with data obtained by us and by other authors about axolotl forelimb regeneration and about fore- and hindlimb ontogeny in axolotls, frogs and other tetrapods. Our observations and comparisons point out that: (1) there are no muscle anomalies in any regenerated axolotl hindlimbs, in clear contrast to our previous study of axolotl forelimb regeneration, where we found muscle anomalies in 43% of the regenerated forelimbs; (2) during axolotl hindlimb regeneration there is a proximo-distal and a tibio-fibular morphogenetic gradient in the order of muscle regeneration and differentiation, but not a ventro-dorsal gradient, whereas our previous studies showed that in axolotl forelimb muscle regeneration there are proximo-distal, radio-ulnar and ventro-dorsal morphogenetic gradients. We discuss the broader implications of these observations for regenerative, evolutionary, developmental and morphogenetic studies.
Phan, Anne Q; Lee, Jangwoo; Oei, Michelle; Flath, Craig; Hwe, Caitlyn; Mariano, Rachele; Vu, Tiffany; Shu, Cynthia; Dinh, Andrew; Simkin, Jennifer; Muneoka, Ken; Bryant, Susan V; Gardiner, David M
Urodele amphibians are unique among adult vertebrates in their ability to regenerate complex body structures after traumatic injury. In salamander regeneration, the cells maintain a memory of their original position and use this positional information to recreate the missing pattern. We used an in vivo gain-of-function assay to determine whether components of the extracellular matrix (ECM) have positional information required to induce formation of new limb pattern during regeneration. We discovered that salamander limb ECM has a position-specific ability to either inhibit regeneration or induce de novo limb structure, and that this difference is dependent on heparan sulfates that are associated with differential expression of heparan sulfate sulfotransferases. We also discovered that an artificial ECM containing only heparan sulfate was sufficient to induce de novo limb pattern in salamander limb regeneration. Finally, ECM from mouse limbs is capable of inducing limb pattern in axolotl blastemas in a position-specific, developmental-stage-specific, and heparan sulfate-dependent manner. This study demonstrates a mechanism for positional information in regeneration and establishes a crucial functional link between salamander regeneration and mammals.
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.
Del-Pozo, J; Girling, S; Pizzi, R; Mancinelli, E; Else, R W
This report provides the first account of the pathological changes associated with infection by Serratia marcescens in an adult male axolotl. The infection resulted in septicaemia with severe multifocal necrotizing myocarditis. The latter lesion evolved to cardiac rupture, haemopericardium and death resulting from cardiac tamponade. This animal was exposed to higher than usual temperatures (24-25 °C) 2 weeks before the onset of disease and this may have resulted in immunocompromise and opportunistic bacterial infection. S. marcescens was isolated from the coelomic and pericardial cavity. Both isolates were identical and were resistant to β-lactam antibiotics, but not to aminoglycosides or fluoroquinolones. The production of red prodigiosin pigment by the bacterium suggested an environmental origin. Overall, the clinical and histopathological presentation suggests that S. marcescens should be included in the list of aetiological agents of the 'red-leg'/bacterial dermatosepticaemia syndrome of amphibians.
Campbell, Leah J; Suárez-Castillo, Edna C; Ortiz-Zuazaga, Humberto; Knapp, Dunja; Tanaka, Elly M; Crews, Craig M
Urodele amphibians are unique among adult vertebrates in their ability to regenerate missing limbs. The process of limb regeneration requires several key tissues including a regeneration-competent wound epidermis called the regeneration epithelium (RE). We used microarray analysis to profile gene expression of the RE in the axolotl, a Mexican salamander. A list of 125 genes and expressed sequence tags (ESTs) showed a ≥1.5-fold expression in the RE than in a wound epidermis covering a lateral cuff wound. A subset of the RE ESTs and genes were further characterized for expression level changes over the time-course of regeneration. This study provides the first large scale identification of specific gene expression in the RE.
Mansour, N; Lahnsteiner, F; Patzner, R A
This study established the first protocol for collection of gametes from live axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, by gentle abdominal massage and in vitro fertilization. To stimulate spermiation and ovulation, human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) and Ovopel pellets, which are commercially used to stimulate spawning in fish, were tested. The hCG was more effective than Ovopel pellets and yielded a higher semen volume in the injected males and a shorter response time in the females. Collected semen by this method was already motile and fertile. Fertile eggs could be collected in 3-4 successive collection times after the female has started the typical spawning behaviour. The fertilization condition that yielded the highest hatching rate was mixing semen with eggs before the addition of a fertilization saline solution (20 mmol/l NaCl, 1 mmol/l KCl, 1 mmol/l Mg(2)SO(4), 1 mmol Ca(2)Cl, 3 mmol NaHCO(3), 10 mmol/l Tris, pH 8.5 - Osmolality = 65 mosmol/kg). When the pH of the fertilization solution was increased to ≥ 10, the hatching rate was significantly increased. The use of fertilization solutions with osmolalities of ≥ 150 and ≥ 182 were accompanied with a significant decrease in hatching rates and the appearance of deformed larvae, respectively. In conclusion, a reliable protocol for gamete collection from live axolotl is established as a laboratory model of in vitro fertilization for urodele amphibians. This protocol may be transferable to endangered urodeles.
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
Ponomareva, Larissa V; Athippozhy, Antony; Thorson, Jon S; Voss, S Randal
Amphibian vertebrates are important models in regenerative biology because they present exceptional regenerative capabilities throughout life. However, it takes considerable effort to rear amphibians to juvenile and adult stages for regeneration studies, and the relatively large sizes that frogs and salamanders achieve during development make them difficult to use in chemical screens. Here, we introduce a new tail regeneration model using late stage Mexican axolotl embryos. We show that axolotl embryos completely regenerate amputated tails in 7days before they exhaust their yolk supply and begin to feed. Further, we show that axolotl embryos can be efficiently reared in microtiter plates to achieve moderate throughput screening of soluble chemicals to investigate toxicity and identify molecules that alter regenerative outcome. As proof of principle, we identified integration 1 / wingless (Wnt), transforming growth factor beta (Tgf-β), and fibroblast growth factor (Fgf) pathway antagonists that completely block tail regeneration and additional chemicals that significantly affected tail outgrowth. Furthermore, we used microarray analysis to show that inhibition of Wnt signaling broadly affects transcription of genes associated with Wnt, Fgf, Tgf-β, epidermal growth factor (Egf), Notch, nerve growth factor (Ngf), homeotic gene (Hox), rat sarcoma/mitogen-activated protein kinase (Ras/Mapk), myelocytomatosis viral oncogene (Myc), tumor protein 53 (p53), and retinoic acid (RA) pathways. Punctuated changes in the expression of genes known to regulate vertebrate development were observed; this suggests the tail regeneration transcriptional program is hierarchically structured and temporally ordered. Our study establishes the axolotl as a chemical screening model to investigate signaling pathways associated with tissue regeneration.
Haugan, Birgitte M; Halberg, Kenneth Agerlin; Jespersen, Åse;
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...... duct system, which provides a model of cell structure and basic mechanisms for ion transport. Such information may be important in understanding the evolution of vertebrate kidney systems and human diseases associated with congenital malformations....
Jacobs, G F; Michielsen, R P; Kühn, E R
Circulating levels of T3 and T4, as well as T3 and T4 content of the thyroid glands were measured by radioimmunoassay in the neotenic and metamorphosed axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum. In the two experiments which were performed plasma T4 concentrations were more elevated in metamorphosed axolotls, especially in the first experiment (2.12 +/- 0.40 ng/ml vs. 369 +/- 30 pg/ml). T3 plasma values which were only estimated in the second experiment were about five times higher in metamorphosed animals (63.2 +/- 7.4 pg/ml vs. 12.5 +/- 0.8 pg/ml). Also the thyroid hormone content of the glands was higher after metamorphosis. Nevertheless the neotenic gland still contained considerable amounts of T3 (14.7 +/- 1.8 ng and 48.3 +/- 4.8 ng/thyroid, respectively, in the first and second experiment) and T4 (530 +/- 61 ng; 2173 +/- 291 ng/thyroid). Because of the higher T3/T4 ratio found in the plasma compared to the thyroid gland, it was suggested that circulating T3 may be derived partly from peripheral T4 conversion, mainly after metamorphosis. An intravenous injection of 10 micrograms synthetic TRH was able to induce a very significant increase of the plasma T4 concentration (which was maintained during 24 hr) in the metamorphosed axolotls of the first experiment, however, not in those of the second experiment nor in the neotenic animals. Following an injection of 10 mU bovine TSH (first experiment) circulating levels of T4 were raised in both groups. The opposing TRH results could be related with the different control levels of T4 in the two experiments. However, the results indicate that TRH is capable of functioning as a possible thyrotropin-releasing factor in the metamorphosed axolotl.
Jarial, M S
The fine structure of the Leydig cells in the epidermis of the strictly aquatic adult axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum resembles that of similar cells in larval salamanders. The major finding of this study is that the mucous secretion of the Leydig cells is released into the intercellular spaces from which it is discharged through pores onto the surface of the epidermis where it forms a mucous layer to protect the skin.
Zhang, Songyan; Gao, Jiuxiang; Lu, Yiling; Cai, Shasha; Qiao, Xue; Wang, Yipeng; Yu, Haining
Antifreeze proteins (AFPs) refer to a class of polypeptides that are produced by certain vertebrates, plants, fungi, and bacteria and which permit their survival in subzero environments. In this study, we report the molecular cloning, sequence analysis and three-dimensional structure of the axolotl antifreeze-like protein (AFLP) by homology modeling of the first caudate amphibian AFLP. We constructed a full-length spleen cDNA library of axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). An EST having highest similarity (∼42%) with freeze-responsive liver protein Li16 from Rana sylvatica was identified, and the full-length cDNA was subsequently obtained by RACE-PCR. The axolotl antifreeze-like protein sequence represents an open reading frame for a putative signal peptide and the mature protein composed of 93 amino acids. The calculated molecular mass and the theoretical isoelectric point (pl) of this mature protein were 10128.6 Da and 8.97, respectively. The molecular characterization of this gene and its deduced protein were further performed by detailed bioinformatics analysis. The three-dimensional structure of current AFLP was predicted by homology modeling, and the conserved residues required for functionality were identified. The homology model constructed could be of use for effective drug design. This is the first report of an antifreeze-like protein identified from a caudate amphibian.
Yu, Haining; Gao, Jiuxiang; Lu, Yiling; Guang, Huijuan; Cai, Shasha; Zhang, Songyan; Wang, Yipeng
Lysozymes are key proteins that play important roles in innate immune defense in many animal phyla by breaking down the bacterial cell-walls. In this study, we report the molecular cloning, sequence analysis and phylogeny of the first caudate amphibian g-lysozyme: a full-length spleen cDNA library from axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). A goose-type (g-lysozyme) EST was identified and the full-length cDNA was obtained using RACE-PCR. The axolotl g-lysozyme sequence represents an open reading frame for a putative signal peptide and the mature protein composed of 184 amino acids. The calculated molecular mass and the theoretical isoelectric point (pl) of this mature protein are 21523.0 Da and 4.37, respectively. Expression of g-lysozyme mRNA is predominantly found in skin, with lower levels in spleen, liver, muscle, and lung. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that caudate amphibian g-lysozyme had distinct evolution pattern for being juxtaposed with not only anura amphibian, but also with the fish, bird and mammal. Although the first complete cDNA sequence for caudate amphibian g-lysozyme is reported in the present study, clones encoding axolotl's other functional immune molecules in the full-length cDNA library will have to be further sequenced to gain insight into the fundamental aspects of antibacterial mechanisms in caudate.
Sabin, Keith; Santos-Ferreira, Tiago; Essig, Jaclyn; Rudasill, Sarah; Echeverri, Karen
Salamanders, such as the Mexican axolotl, are some of the few vertebrates fortunate in their ability to regenerate diverse structures after injury. Unlike mammals they are able to regenerate a fully functional spinal cord after injury. However, the molecular circuitry required to initiate a pro-regenerative response after spinal cord injury is not well understood. To address this question we developed a spinal cord injury model in axolotls and used in vivo imaging of labeled ependymoglial cells to characterize the response of these cells to injury. Using in vivo imaging of ion sensitive dyes we identified that spinal cord injury induces a rapid and dynamic change in the resting membrane potential of ependymoglial cells. Prolonged depolarization of ependymoglial cells after injury inhibits ependymoglial cell proliferation and subsequent axon regeneration. Using transcriptional profiling we identified c-Fos as a key voltage sensitive early response gene that is expressed specifically in the ependymoglial cells after injury. This data establishes that dynamic changes in the membrane potential after injury are essential for regulating the specific spatiotemporal expression of c-Fos that is critical for promoting faithful spinal cord regeneration in axolotl.
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
Nguyen, Matthew; Singhal, Pankhuri; Piet, Judith W; Shefelbine, Sandra J; Maden, Malcolm; Voss, S Randal; Monaghan, James R
Salamanders are capable of regenerating amputated limbs by generating a mass of lineage-restricted cells called a blastema. Blastemas only generate structures distal to their origin unless treated with retinoic acid (RA), which results in proximodistal (PD) limb duplications. Little is known about the transcriptional network that regulates PD duplication. In this study, we target specific retinoic acid receptors (RARs) to either PD duplicate (RA treatment or RARγ agonist) or truncate (RARβ antagonist) regenerating limbs. RARE-EGFP reporter axolotls showed divergent reporter activity in limbs undergoing PD duplication versus truncation, suggesting differences in patterning and skeletal regeneration. Transcriptomics identified expression patterns that explain PD duplication, including upregulation of proximal homeobox gene expression and silencing of distal-associated genes, whereas limb truncation was associated with disrupted skeletal differentiation. RARβ antagonism in uninjured limbs induced a loss of skeletal integrity leading to long bone regression and loss of skeletal turnover. Overall, mechanisms were identified that regulate the multifaceted roles of RARs in the salamander limb including regulation of skeletal patterning during epimorphic regeneration, skeletal tissue differentiation during regeneration, and homeostatic regeneration of intact limbs.
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.
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.
Satoh, A; Graham, G M C; Bryant, S V; Gardiner, D M
Adult urodeles (salamanders) are unique in their ability to regenerate complex organs perfectly. The recently developed Accessory Limb Model (ALM) in the axolotl provides an opportunity to identify and characterize the essential signaling events that control the early steps in limb regeneration. The ALM demonstrates that limb regeneration progresses in a stepwise fashion that is dependent on signals from the wound epidermis, nerves and dermal fibroblasts from opposite sides of the limb. When all the signals are present, a limb is formed de novo. The ALM thus provides an opportunity to identify and characterize the signaling pathways that control blastema morphogenesis and limb regeneration. In the present study, we have utilized the ALM to identity the buttonhead-like zinc-finger transcription factor, Sp9, as being involved in the formation of the regeneration epithelium. Sp9 expression is induced in basal keratinocytes of the apical blastema epithelium in a pattern that is comparable to its expression in developing limb buds, and it thus is an important marker for dedifferentiation of the epidermis. Induction of Sp9 expression is nerve-dependent, and we have identified KGF as an endogenous nerve factor that induces expression of Sp9 in the regeneration epithelium.
Ferris, Donald R; Satoh, Akira; Mandefro, Berhan; Cummings, Gillian M; Gardiner, David M; Rugg, Elizabeth L
Urodele amphibians (salamanders) are unique among adult vertebrates in their ability to regenerate structurally complete and fully functional limbs. Regeneration is a stepwise process that requires interactions between keratinocytes, nerves and fibroblasts. The formation of a wound epithelium covering the amputation site is an early and necessary event in the process but the molecular mechanisms that underlie the role of the wound epithelium in regeneration remain unclear. We have developed an ex vivo model that recapitulates many features of in vivo wound healing. The model comprises a circular explant of axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) limb skin with a central circular, full thickness wound. Re-epithelialization of the wound area is rapid (typically <11 h) and is dependent on metalloproteinase activity. The ex vivo wound epithelium is viable, responds to neuronal signals and is able to participate in ectopic blastema formation and limb regeneration. This ex vivo model provides a reproducible and tractable system in which to study the cellular and molecular events that underlie wound healing and regeneration.
Ericsson, Rolf; Olsson, Lennart
Vertebrate head development is a classical topic that has received renewed attention during the last decade. Most reports use one of a few model organisms (chicken, mouse, zebrafish) and have focused on molecular mechanisms and the role of the neural crest, while cranial muscle development has received less attention. Here we describe cranial muscle differentiation and morphogenesis in the Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum. To determine the onset of differentiation we use antibodies against desmin and optical sectioning using confocal laser scanning microscopy on whole-mount immunostained embryos. This technique makes it possible to document the cranial muscle in three dimensions while keeping the specimens intact. Desmin expression starts almost simultaneously in the first, second, and third visceral arch muscles (as in other amphibians studied). Muscle anlagen divide up early into the different elements which constitute the larval cranial musculature. We extend and refine earlier findings, e.g., by documenting a clear division between interhyoideus and interhyoideus posterior. The timing of cranial muscle differentiation differs among vertebrate groups, but seems to be constant within each group. This study provides a morphological foundation for further studies of muscle cell fate and early differentiation.
Satoh, Akira; Cummings, Gillian M C; Bryant, Susan V; Gardiner, David M
The ability of animals to repair tissue damage is widespread and impressive. Among tissues, the repair and remodeling of bone occurs during growth and in response to injury; however, loss of bone above a threshold amount is not regenerated, resulting in a "critical-size defect" (CSD). The development of therapies to replace or regenerate a CSD is a major focus of research in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. Adult urodeles (salamanders) are unique in their ability to regenerate complex tissues perfectly, yet like mammals do not regenerate a CSD. We report on an experimental model for the regeneration of a CSD in the axolotl (the Excisional Regeneration Model) that allows for the identification of signals to induce fibroblast dedifferentiation and skeletal regeneration. This regenerative response is mediated in part by BMP signaling, as is the case in mammals; however, a complete regenerative response requires the induction of a population of undifferentiated, regeneration-competent cells. These cells can be induced by signaling from limb amputation to generate blastema cells that can be grafted to the wound, as well as by signaling from a nerve and a wound epithelium to induce blastema cells from fibroblasts within the wound environment.
Davidian, Asya; Malashichev, Yegor
Traditionally, the cartilaginous viscerocranium of vertebrates is considered as neural crest (NC)-derived. Morphological work carried out on amphibian embryos in the first half of the XX century suggested potentially mesodermal origin for some hyobranchial elements. Since then, the embryonic sources of the hyobranchial apparatus in amphibians has not been investigated due to lack of an appropriate long-term labelling system. We performed homotopic transplantations of neural folds along with the majority of cells of the presumptive NC, and/or fragments of the head lateral plate mesoderm (LPM) from transgenic GFP+ into white embryos. In these experiments, the NC-derived GFP+ cells contributed to all hyobranchial elements, except for basibranchial 2, whereas the grafting of GFP+ head mesoderm led to a reverse labelling result. The grafting of only the most ventral part of the head LPM resulted in marking of the basibranchial 2 and the heart myocardium, implying their origin from a common mesodermal region. This is the first evidence of contribution of LPM of the head to cranial elements in any vertebrate. If compared to fish, birds, and mammals, in which all branchial skeletal elements are NC-derived, the axolotl (probably this is true for all amphibians) demonstrates an evolutionary deviation, in which the head LPM replaces NC cells in a hyobranchial element. This implies that cells of different embryonic origin may have the same developmental program, leading to the formation of identical (homologous) elements of the skeleton.
Huang, Ting-Yu; Wu, Cheng-Han; Wang, Mu-Hui; Chen, Bo-Sung; Chiou, Ling-Ling; Lee, Hsuan-Shu
Urodele amphibians (Ambystoma mexicanum), unique among vertebrates, can regenerate appendages and other body parts entirely and functionally through a scar-free healing process. The wound epithelium covering the amputated or damaged site forms early and is essential for initiating the subsequent regenerative steps. However, the molecular mechanism through which the wound reepithelializes during regeneration remains unclear. In this study, we developed an in vitro culture system that mimics an in vivo wound healing process; the biomechanical properties in the system were precisely defined and manipulated. Skin explants that were cultured on 2 to 50 kPa collagen-coated substrates rapidly reepithelialized within 10 to 15 h; however, in harder (1 GPa) and other extracellular matrices (tenascin-, fibronectin-, and laminin-coated environments), the wound epithelium moved slowly. Furthermore, the reepithelialization rate of skin explants from metamorphic axolotls cultured on a polystyrene plate (1 GPa) increased substantially. These findings afford new insights and can facilitate investigating wound epithelium formation during early regeneration using biochemical and mechanical techniques.
Full Text Available Urodele amphibians (Ambystoma mexicanum, unique among vertebrates, can regenerate appendages and other body parts entirely and functionally through a scar-free healing process. The wound epithelium covering the amputated or damaged site forms early and is essential for initiating the subsequent regenerative steps. However, the molecular mechanism through which the wound reepithelializes during regeneration remains unclear. In this study, we developed an in vitro culture system that mimics an in vivo wound healing process; the biomechanical properties in the system were precisely defined and manipulated. Skin explants that were cultured on 2 to 50 kPa collagen-coated substrates rapidly reepithelialized within 10 to 15 h; however, in harder (1 GPa and other extracellular matrices (tenascin-, fibronectin-, and laminin-coated environments, the wound epithelium moved slowly. Furthermore, the reepithelialization rate of skin explants from metamorphic axolotls cultured on a polystyrene plate (1 GPa increased substantially. These findings afford new insights and can facilitate investigating wound epithelium formation during early regeneration using biochemical and mechanical techniques.
Full Text Available Atrazine is the most widely used agricultural herbicide in the United States and a known endocrine disruptor. In amphibians, it has been shown to cause gonadal malformations, feminization of males, behavioral changes, and immune suppression; however, its mechanism ofaction is unknown. We hypothesized that atrazine reduces the production of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH in the hypothalamus. Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum were exposed to atrazine, 10-8 M ß-estradiol-3-benzoate, or no treatment and were sacrificed at 6, 8, and 10 months of age. GnRH neurons were labeled using immunocytochemistry, and labeled neurons were then counted using confocal microscopy. Although no significant difference wasfound in the total number of GnRH neurons, ectopic GnRH expression was seen in some brains. A significant negative correlation was found between presence of ectopic GnRH and number of normal GnRH neurons. Atrazine-treated animals were more likely than control or estrogentreated animals to have ectopic GnRH expression. The data implicate a central site of action of atrazine.
Zhu, Wei; Pao, Gerald M; Satoh, Akira; Cummings, Gillian; Monaghan, James R; Harkins, Timothy T; Bryant, Susan V; Randal Voss, S; Gardiner, David M; Hunter, Tony
The capacity for tissue and organ regeneration in humans is dwarfed by comparison to that of salamanders. Emerging evidence suggests that mechanisms learned from the early phase of salamander limb regeneration-wound healing, cellular dedifferentiation and blastemal formation-will reveal therapeutic approaches for tissue regeneration in humans. Here we describe a unique transcriptional fingerprint of regenerating limb tissue in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) that is indicative of cellular reprogramming of differentiated cells to a germline-like state. Two genes that are required for self-renewal of germ cells in mice and flies, Piwi-like 1 (PL1) and Piwi-like 2 (PL2), are expressed in limb blastemal cells, the basal layer keratinocytes and the thickened apical epithelial cap in the wound epidermis in the regenerating limb. Depletion of PL1 and PL2 by morpholino oligonucleotides decreased cell proliferation and increased cell death in the blastema leading to a significant retardation of regeneration. Examination of key molecules that are known to be required for limb development or regeneration further revealed that FGF8 is transcriptionally downregulated in the presence of the morpholino oligos, indicating PL1 and PL2 might participate in FGF signaling during limb regeneration. Given the requirement for FGF signaling in limb development and regeneration, the results suggest that PL1 and PL2 function to establish a unique germline-like state that is associated with successful regeneration.
Keyhani, E; Lemanski, L F
Thin-section and freeze-fracture electron microscopy of immature and mature spermatozoa of the Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, revealed numerous small spherical mitochondria with diameters ranging from 0.15 to 0.22 micrometers. Both the spherical form and the small size of these mitochondria were confirmed by serial thin-section studies. In mature spermatozoa, the mitochondria are located in the midpiece region, in tight contact with each other, exhibiting an almost crystalline arrangement. They do not surround the midpiece, but form a semicircular sheet over the sustained filament. The portion of the midpiece on the side of the undulating membrane and the flagellum is devoid of mitochondria. The plasma membrane in the midpiece region is tightly apposed to the mitochondria, so that in freeze-fracture or scanning electron microscopy the mitochondria seem to protrude through the plasma membrane. We suggest that the unusual organization of mitochondria in axoloti sperm facilitates the oxidative processes and increases the efficiency of ATP production and/or distribution within the cell.
Melinek, R; Mirolli, M
The heart of the axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum was studied with histochemical methods to determine the distribution of neurons containing acetylcholine esterase, catecholamines and 5-hydroxytryptamine. The cardiac ganglion is made up of cholinergic nerve fibers and somata, and of catecholaminergic fibers. Small intensely fluorescent cells were found along blood vessels in the pericardial wall at the base of the heart, but not in the heart itself, except, in a few instances, in the region bordering the pericardial wall. Both the cholinergic and the catecholaminergic innervation of the heart were poorly developed at hatching and reached their mature state after a few months. Cholinesterase staining fibers appeared several weeks before catecholaminergic fibers. The number of postganglionic cholinergic neurons in the heart increased several-fold during the first month after hatching. Histofluorescence studies of organ cultures suggested that all the catecholamine present in the heart are of extrinsic origin. Liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection demonstrated that the dominant catecholamine in the heart is norepinephrine. No neurons containing 5-hydroxytryptamine were found.
Aguilar, Cristian; Gardiner, David M
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.
Denz, Christopher R; Zhang, Chi; Jia, Pingping; Du, Jianfeng; Huang, Xupei; Dube, Syamalima; Thomas, Anish; Poiesz, Bernard J; Dube, Dipak K
Tropomyosins are a family of actin-binding proteins that show cell-specific diversity by a combination of multiple genes and alternative RNA splicing. Of the 4 different tropomyosin genes, TPM4 plays a pivotal role in myofibrillogenesis as well as cardiac contractility in amphibians. In this study, we amplified and sequenced the upstream regulatory region of the TPM4 gene from both normal and mutant axolotl hearts. To identify the cis-elements that are essential for the expression of the TPM4, we created various deletion mutants of the TPM4 promoter DNA, inserted the deleted segments into PGL3 vector, and performed promoter-reporter assay using luciferase as the reporter gene. Comparison of sequences of the promoter region of the TPM4 gene from normal and mutant axolotl revealed no mutations in the promoter sequence of the mutant TPM4 gene. CArG box elements that are generally involved in controlling the expression of several other muscle-specific gene promoters were not found in the upstream regulatory region of the TPM4 gene. In deletion experiments, loss of activity of the reporter gene was noted upon deletion which was then restored upon further deletion suggesting the presence of both positive and negative cis-elements in the upstream regulatory region of the TPM4 gene. We believe that this is the first axolotl promoter that has ever been cloned and studied with clear evidence that it functions in mammalian cell lines. Although striated muscle-specific cis-acting elements are absent from the promoter region of TPM4 gene, our results suggest the presence of positive and negative cis-elements in the promoter region, which in conjunction with positive and negative trans-elements may be involved in regulating the expression of TPM4 gene in a tissue-specific manner.
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.
Sobkow, Lidia; Epperlein, Hans-Henning; Herklotz, Stephan; Straube, Werner L; Tanaka, Elly M
The development of transgenesis in axolotls is crucial for studying development and regeneration as it would allow for long-term cell fate tracing as well as gene expression analysis. We demonstrate here that plasmid injection into the one-cell stage axolotl embryo generates mosaic transgenic animals that display germline transmission of the transgene. The inclusion of SceI meganuclease in the injections (Thermes, V., Grabher, C., Ristoratore, F., Bourrat, F., Choulika, A., Wittbrodt, J., Joly, J.S., 2002. I-SceI meganuclease mediates highly efficient transgenesis in fish. Mech. Dev. 118, 91-98) resulted in a higher percentage of F0 animals displaying strong expression throughout the body. This represents the first demonstration in the axolotl of germline transmission of a transgene. Using this technique we have generated a germline transgenic animal expressing GFP ubiquitously in all tissues examined. We have used this animal to study cell fate in the dorsal fin during development. We have uncovered a contribution of somite cells to dorsal fin mesenchyme in the axolotl, which was previously assumed to derive solely from neural crest. We have also studied the role of blood during tail regeneration by transplanting the ventral blood-forming region from GFP+ embryos into unlabeled hosts. During tail regeneration, we do not observe GFP+ cells contributing to muscle or nerve, suggesting that during tail regeneration blood stem cells do not undergo significant plasticity.
[Autoradiographic investigations on postnatal proliferative activity of the telencephalic and diencephalic matrix-zones in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), with special references to the olfactory organ (author's transl)].
Richter, W; Kranz, D
The localization and proliferative activity of the matrix-zones has been investigated in the telencephalon and in the diencephalon of 21 axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) by means of autoradiographs, after injection of tritiated thymidine at different stages of the postnatal life. There are no previous detailed autoradiographical reports on postnatal brain development in the axolotl. Matrix-zones (i.e. ventricular and subventricular zone) exist in the dorsal part and in the ventral part of the telencephalon, we have found these also in the diencephalon in the wall of the preoptic recessus and ventrally of the habenula. The quantitative part of this study indicates high values of the labeling-index in the early postnatal stages. Then, the labeling-index decreases, but also in 3 years old specimens labeled cells were observed in the matrix-zones of the telencephalon; therefore a few of proliferative capacity remains in the central nervous system of adult axolotls. Labeled cells were also found in the olfactory organ of early postnatal and adult axolotls; these are neuroblasts which have relevance for the regeneration of the forebrain.
Kühn, Eduard R; De Groef, Bert; Grommen, Sylvia V H; Van der Geyten, Serge; Darras, Veerle M
Entanglement of functions between the adrenal (or interrenal) and thyroid axis has been well described for all vertebrates and can be tracked down up to the level of gene expression. Both thyroid hormones and corticosteroids may induce morphological changes leading to metamorphosis climax in the neotenic Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). In a first series of experiments, metamorphosis was induced with an injection of 25 microg T(4) on three alternate days as judged by a decrease in body weight and tail height together with complete gill resorption. This injection also resulted in elevated plasma concentrations of T(3) and corticosterone. Previous results have indicated that the same dose of dexamethasone (DEX) is ineffective in this regard (Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 127 (2002) 157). In a second series of experiments low doses of T(4) (0.5 microg) or DEX (5 microg) were ineffective to induce morphological changes. However, when these submetamorphic doses were injected together, morphological changes were observed within one week leading to complete metamorphosis. It is concluded that thyroid hormones combined with corticosteroids are essential for metamorphosis in the axolotl and that only high doses of either thyroid hormone or corticosteroid can induce morphological changes when injected separately.
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.
Vega, Rosario; Alexandrov, Vladimir V; Alexandrova, Tamara B; Soto, Enrique
By combining mathematical methods with the morphological analysis of the semicircular canals of the axolotl (Ambystoma tigrinum), a system of differential equations describing the mechanical coupling in the semicircular canals was obtained. The coefficients of this system have an explicit physiological meaning that allows for the introduction of morphological and dynamical parameters directly into the differential equations. The cupula of the semicircular canals was modeled both as a piston and as a membrane (diaphragm like), and the duct canals as toroids with two main regions: i) the semicircular canal duct and, ii) a larger diameter region corresponding to the ampulla and the utricle. The endolymph motion was described by the Navier-Stokes equations. The analysis of the model demonstrated that cupular behavior dynamics under periodic stimulation is equivalent in both the piston and the membrane cupular models, thus a general model in which the detailed cupular structure is not relevant was derived.
Suzuki, Hirohumi; Yamamoto, Toshiharu
In this study, we used immunohistochemical techniques to determine the cell type of leucine-enkephalin (Leu-ENK)-immunoreactive cells in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) pituitary. Immunoreactive cells were scattered throughout the pars distalis except for the dorso-caudal portion. These cells were immuno-positive for luteinizing hormone (LH), but they were immuno-negative for adrenocorticotrophic, growth, and thyroid-stimulating hormones, as well as prolactin. Immunoelectron microscopy demonstrated that Leu-ENK-like substance and LH co-localized within the same secretory granules. Leu-ENK secreted from gonadotrophs may participate in LH secretion in an autocrine fashion, and/or may participate in the release of sex steroids together with LH.
Lemanski, L F; Fitzharris, T P
Recessive mutant gene c in axolotls results in a failure of the heart to function because of abnormal embryonic induction processes. The myocardium in this mutant lacks organized sarcomeric myofibrils. The present study was undertaken to determine if developmental abnormalities were evident in other areas of the heart besides the myocardium. A detailed comparative survey of the structure of developing normal and mutant hearts, including the endocardium, its cellular derivatives, and the extracellular matrix, known as cardiac jelly, showed that in the mutant there are fewer than the normal number of endocardial cells lining the heart lumen, the number of mesenchyme cells is reduced, and the cardiac jelly area is greatly enlarged in the posterior part of the truncus adjacent to the ventricle.
Darras, Veerle M; Van der Geyten, Serge; Cox, Clara; Segers, Ilse B; De Groef, Bert; Kühn, Eduard R
In amphibians, there is a close interaction between the interrenal and the thyroidal axes. Hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing hormone or related peptides stimulate thyroidal activity by increasing thyrotropin synthesis and release, while corticosterone accelerates both spontaneous and thyroid hormone-induced metamorphosis. One of the mechanisms that is thought to contribute to this acceleration is a corticosterone-induced change in peripheral deiodinating activity. The present experiments were designed to investigate further the effects of glucocorticoid treatment on amphibian deiodinase activities and to explore the possible role of these effects in metamorphosis. Neotenic axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) were treated either acutely or chronically with dexamethasone (DEX) and changes in type II and type III iodothyronine deiodinase (D2 and D3) activities were studied in liver, kidney, and brain. In addition, gill length, tail height, and body weight were measured at regular intervals in the chronically treated animals in search of metamorphosis-related changes. A single injection of 50 microg DEX decreased hepatic D3 activity (6-48 h) while it increased D2 activity in brain (6-48 h) and to a lesser extent in kidney (24 h). These changes were accompanied by an increase in plasma T(3) levels (48 h). Samples taken during chronic treatment with 20 or 100 microg DEX showed that both hepatic D2 and D3 activities were decreased on day 26, while renal D3 activity was decreased but only in the 20 microg dose group. All other deiodinase activities were not different from those in control animals. At 25 days, all DEX-treated axolotls showed a clear reduction in gill length, tail height, and body weight, changes typical of metamorphosis. Prolongation of the treatment up to 48 days resulted in complete gill resorption by days 44-60. Although probably several mechanisms contribute to these DEX-induced metamorphic changes, the interaction with thyroid function via a sustained
Ericsson, Rolf; Cerny, Robert; Falck, Pierre; Olsson, Lennart
The role of cranial neural crest cells in the formation of visceral arch musculature was investigated in the Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum. DiI (1,1'-dioctadecyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindocarbocyanine, perchlorate) labeling and green fluorescent protein (GFP) mRNA injections combined with unilateral transplantations of neural folds showed that neural crest cells contribute to the connective tissues but not the myofibers of developing visceral arch muscles in the mandibular, hyoid, and branchial arches. Extirpations of individual cranial neural crest streams demonstrated that neural crest cells are necessary for correct morphogenesis of visceral arch muscles. These do, however, initially develop in their proper positions also in the absence of cranial neural crest. Visceral arch muscles forming in the absence of neural crest cells start to differentiate at their origins but fail to extend toward their insertions and may have a frayed appearance. Our data indicate that visceral arch muscle positioning is controlled by factors that do not have a neural crest origin. We suggest that the cranial neural crest-derived connective tissues provide directional guidance important for the proper extension of the cranial muscles and the subsequent attachment to the insertion on the correct cartilage. In a comparative context, our data from the Mexican axolotl support the view that the cranial neural crest plays a fundamental role in the development of not only the skeleton of the vertebrate head but also in the morphogenesis of the cranial muscles and that this might be a primitive feature of cranial development in vertebrates.
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.
Shishikura, Fumio; Takeuchi, Hiro-aki; Nagai, Takatoshi
Erythrocytes of the adult axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, have multiple hemoglobins. We separated and purified two kinds of hemoglobin, termed major hemoglobin (Hb M) and minor hemoglobin (Hb m), from a five-year-old male by hydrophobic interaction column chromatography on Alkyl Superose. The hemoglobins have two distinct alpha type globin polypeptides (alphaM and alpham) and a common beta globin polypeptide, all of which were purified in FPLC on a reversed-phase column after S-pyridylethylation. The complete amino acid sequences of the three globin chains were determined separately using nucleotide sequencing with the assistance of protein sequencing. The mature globin molecules were composed of 141 amino acid residues for alphaM globin, 143 for alpham globin and 146 for beta globin. Comparing primary structures of the five kinds of axolotl globins, including two previously established alpha type globins from the same species, with other known globins of amphibians and representatives of other vertebrates, we constructed phylogenetic trees for amphibian hemoglobins and tetrapod hemoglobins. The molecular trees indicated that alphaM, alpham, beta and the previously known alpha major globin were adult types of globins and the other known alpha globin was a larval type. The existence of two to four more globins in the axolotl erythrocyte is predicted.
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...... 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...
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.
Lehrberg, Jeffrey; Gardiner, David M
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.
Capaldi, Stefano; Guariento, Mara; Perduca, Massimiliano; Di Pietro, Santiago M; Santomé, José A; Monaco, Hugo L
The family of the liver bile acid-binding proteins (L-BABPs), formerly called liver basic fatty acid-binding proteins (Lb-FABPs) shares fold and sequence similarity with the paralogous liver fatty acid-binding proteins (L-FABPs) but has a different stoichiometry and specificity of ligand binding. This article describes the first X-ray structure of a member of the L-BABP family, axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) L-BABP, bound to two different ligands: cholic and oleic acid. The protein binds one molecule of oleic acid in a position that is significantly different from that of either of the two molecules that bind to rat liver FABP. The stoichiometry of binding of cholate is of two ligands per protein molecule, as observed in chicken L-BABP. The cholate molecule that binds buried most deeply into the internal cavity overlaps well with the analogous bound to chicken L-BABP, whereas the second molecule, which interacts with the first only through hydrophobic contacts, is more external and exposed to the solvent.
Huggins, P; Johnson, C K; Schoergendorfer, A; Putta, S; Bathke, A C; Stromberg, A J; Voss, S R
The Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) presents an excellent model to investigate mechanisms of brain development that are conserved among vertebrates. In particular, metamorphic changes of the brain can be induced in free-living aquatic juveniles and adults by simply adding thyroid hormone (T4) to rearing water. Whole brains were sampled from juvenile A. mexicanum that were exposed to 0, 8, and 18 days of 50 nM T4, and these were used to isolate RNA and make normalized cDNA libraries for 454 DNA sequencing. A total of 1,875,732 high quality cDNA reads were assembled with existing ESTs to obtain 5884 new contigs for human RefSeq protein models, and to develop a custom Affymetrix gene expression array (Amby_002) with approximately 20,000 probe sets. The Amby_002 array was used to identify 303 transcripts that differed statistically (p1.5) as a function of days of T4 treatment. Further statistical analyses showed that Amby_002 performed concordantly in comparison to an existing, small format expression array. This study introduces a new A. mexicanum microarray resource for the community and the first lists of T4-responsive genes from the brain of a salamander amphibian.
Lazzari, Maurizio; Bettini, Simone; Ciani, Franco; Franceschini, Valeria
The GLUT-1 isoform of the glucose transporter is commonly considered a reliable molecular marker of blood-brain barrier endothelia in the neural vasculature organized in a three-dimensional network of single vessels. The central nervous system of the axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum is characterized by a vascular architecture that contains both single and paired vessels. The presence and distribution of the GLUT-1 transporter are studied in this urodele using both immunoperoxidase histochemistry and immunogold technique. Light microscopy reveals immunopositivity in both parenchymal and meningeal vessels. The transverse-sectioned pairs of vessels do not show the same size. Furthermore, in the same pair, the two elements often differ in diameter. The main regions of the central nervous system show a different percentage of the paired structures. Only immunogold cytochemistry reveals different staining intensity in the two adjoined elements of a vascular pair. Colloidal gold particles show an asymmetric distribution in the endothelia of both single and paired vessels. These particles are more numerous on the abluminal surface than on the luminal one. The particle density is calculated in both vascular types. The different values could indicate functional differences between single and paired vessels and between the two adjoined elements of a pair, regarding glucose transport.
Piekarski, Nadine; Olsson, Lennart
The fate of single somites has not been analyzed from a comparative perspective with modern cell-marking methods. Most of what we know is based on work using quail-chick chimeras. Consequently, to what degree cell fate has been conserved despite the anatomical differences among vertebrates is unknown. We have analyzed the cell fate of the cranialmost somites, with the focus on somite two, in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). Somite cells were marked by injection of dextran-fluorescein and detected using immunofluorescence after 2 months of development in paraffin sections. Our data confirm and extend earlier studies based on classical histology in salamanders. We show that somite two contributes to different muscles, skeletal elements, and connective tissues of the head and cranial trunk region. Cells from somites two and three migrate latero-ventrally and contribute to the hypobranchial muscles mm. geniohyoideus and rectus cervicis. We provide evidence that the specific formation of the hypobranchial musculature from ventral processes of the somites might be variable in different classes of vertebrates. We further demonstrate that mm. cucullaris and dilatator laryngis, which were earlier thought to have a branchial origin, arise from somitic material in a manner very similar to the findings in quail-chick chimeras. Our findings indicate that the pattern of somitic derivatives is highly conserved within tetrapods.
Holder, N; Weekes, C
The regeneration of surgically created mixed-handed limb stumps is examined in the axolotl. Operations were performed in the lower arm and upper arm regions and grafts were allowed to heal for approximately one month prior to amputation or were amputated immediately. In the lower arm group both anterior and posterior limb halves were inverted, whereas only posterior halves were inverted in the upper arm group. Almost all the limbs regenerated were normal in the anterior-posterior axis, whereas a range of limb types were found when the dorsal-ventral axis was analysed using the metacarpal muscle pattern and epidermal Leydig cell number as positional markers. The carpal and forearm muscle patterns were also analysed in order to assess whether the pattern determined from analysis at the metacarpal level reflected that seen at more proximal levels. The results are discussed in terms of the possible role of cell contribution from the stump to the blastema and the relevance of the study to models of pattern regulation.
Is salamander limb regeneration really perfect? Anatomical and morphogenetic analysis of forelimb muscle regeneration in GFP-transgenic axolotls as a basis for regenerative, developmental, and evolutionary studies.
Diogo, R; Nacu, E; Tanaka, E M
The axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum is one of the most commonly used model organisms in developmental and regenerative studies because it can reconstitute what is believed to be a completely normal anatomical and functional forelimb/hindlimb after amputation. However, to date it has not been confirmed whether each regenerated forelimb muscle is really a "perfect" copy of the original muscle. This study describes the regeneration of the arm, forearm, hand, and some pectoral muscles (e.g., coracoradialis) in transgenic axolotls that express green fluorescent protein (GFP) in muscle fibers. The observations found that: (1) there were muscle anomalies in 43% of the regenerated forelimbs; (2) however, on average in each regenerated forelimb there are anomalies in only 2.5% of the total number of muscles examined, and there were no significant differences observed in the specific insertion and origin of the other muscles analyzed; (3) one of the most notable and common anomalies (seen in 35% of the regenerated forelimbs) was the presence of a fleshy coracoradialis at the level of the arm; this is a particularly outstanding configuration because in axolotls and in urodeles in general this muscle only has a thin tendon at the level of the arm, and the additional fleshy belly in the regenerated arms is strikingly similar to the fleshy biceps brachii of amniotes, suggesting a remarkable parallel between a regeneration defect and a major phenotypic change that occurred during tetrapod limb evolution; (4) during forelimb muscle regeneration there was a clear proximo-distal and radio-ulnar morphogenetic gradient, as seen in normal development, but also a ventro-dorsal gradient in the order of regeneration, which was not previously described in the literature. These results have broader implications for regenerative, evolutionary, developmental and morphogenetic studies.
Taniguchi, Yuka; Kurth, Thomas; Weiche, Susanne; Reichelt, Saskia; Tazaki, Akira; Perike, Srikanth; Kappert, Verena; Epperlein, Hans-Henning
Classical grafting experiments in the Mexican axolotl had shown that the posterior neural plate of the neurula is no specified neuroectoderm but gives rise to somites of the tail and posterior trunk. The bipotentiality of this region with neuromesodermal progenitor cell populations was revealed more recently also in zebrafish, chick, and mouse. We reinvestigated the potency of the posterior plate in axolotl using grafts from transgenic embryos, immunohistochemistry, and in situ hybridization. The posterior plate is brachyury-positive except for its more anterior parts which express sox2. Between anterior and posterior regions of the posterior plate a small domain with sox2+ and bra+ cells exists. Lineage analysis of grafted GFP-labeled posterior plate tissue revealed that posterior GFP+ cells move from dorsal to ventral, form the posterior wall, turn anterior bilaterally, and join the gastrulated paraxial presomitic mesoderm. More anterior sox2+/GFP+ cells, however, are integrated into the developing spinal cord. Tail notochord is formed from axial mesoderm involuted already during gastrulation. Thus the posterior neural plate is a postgastrula source of paraxial mesoderm, which performs an anterior turn, a novel morphogenetic movement. More anterior plate cells, in contrast, do not turn anteriorly but become specified to form tail spinal cord.
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.
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.
Abuqarn, Mehtap; Allmeling, Christina; Amshoff, Inga; Menger, Bjoern; Nasser, Inas; Vogt, Peter M; Reimers, Kerstin
Urodele amphibians are exceptional in their ability to regenerate complex body structures such as limbs. Limb regeneration depends on a process called dedifferentiation. Under an inductive wound epidermis terminally differentiated cells transform to pluripotent progenitor cells that coordinately proliferate and eventually redifferentiate to form the new appendage. Recent studies have developed molecular models integrating a set of genes that might have important functions in the control of regenerative cellular plasticity. Among them is Msx1, which induced dedifferentiation in mammalian myotubes in vitro. Herein, we screened for interaction partners of axolotl Msx1 using a yeast two hybrid system. A two hybrid cDNA library of 5-day-old wound epidermis and underlying tissue containing more than 2×10⁶ cDNAs was constructed and used in the screen. 34 resulting cDNA clones were isolated and sequenced. We then compared sequences of the isolated clones to annotated EST contigs of the Salamander EST database (BLASTn) to identify presumptive orthologs. We subsequently searched all no-hit clone sequences against non redundant NCBI sequence databases using BLASTx. It is the first time, that the yeast two hybrid system was adapted to the axolotl animal model and successfully used in a screen for proteins interacting with Msx1 in the context of amphibian limb regeneration.
Kühn, Eduard R; De Groef, Bert; Van der Geyten, Serge; Darras, Veerle M
In the present study, morphological changes leading to complete metamorphosis have been induced in the neotenic axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum using a submetamorphic dose of T(4) together with an injection of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH). An injection of CRH alone is ineffective in this regard presumably due to a lack of thyrotropic stimulation. Using this low hormone profile for induction of metamorphosis, the deiodinating enzymes D2 and D3 known to be present in amphibians were measured in liver and brain 24h following an intraperitoneal injection. An injection of T(4) alone did not influence liver nor brain D2 and D3, but dexamethasone (DEX) or CRH alone or in combination with T(4) decreased liver D2 and D3. Brain D2 activity was slightly increased with a higher dose of DEX, though CRH did not have this effect. A profound synergistic effect occurred when T(4) and DEX or CRH were injected together, in the dose range leading to metamorphosis, increasing brain D2 activity more than fivefold. This synergistic effect was not found in the liver. It is concluded that brain T(3) availability may play an important role for the onset of metamorphosis in the neotenic axolotl.
Fei, Ji-Feng; Schuez, Maritta; Tazaki, Akira; Taniguchi, Yuka; Roensch, Kathleen; Tanaka, Elly M
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.
Chen, Xiaoping; Song, Fengyu; Jhamb, Deepali; Li, Jiliang; Bottino, Marco C; Palakal, Mathew J; Stocum, David L
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.
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
Piekarski, Nadine; Olsson, Lennart
The pectoral girdle is a unique skeletal element that underwent drastic morphological changes during its evolution, especially in association with the fin-to-limb transition. Comparative studies of its development are needed to gain a deeper understanding of its evolution. Transplantation experiments using the quail-chick chimeric system have revealed that not only lateral plate mesoderm but also somites contribute to the pectoral girdle in birds. Studies in mice and turtles also document somitic contributions to the pectoral girdle, but extirpation experiments in a salamander did not affect shoulder girdle development. Somitic contributions to the pectoral girdle therefore have been interpreted as a feature unique to amniotes. Here, we present a long-term fate map of single somites in the Mexican axolotl, based on transplantations of somites two to six from GFP-transgenic donors into wild-type hosts, as well as injections of fluorescein dextran into single somites. The results show a somitic derivation of the dorsal region of the suprascapula, demonstrating that somitic contributions to the pectoral girdle are not restricted to amniotes. Comparison with the few other species studied so far leads us to suggest a position-dependent origin of the pectoral girdle. We propose that embryonic origin is determined by the proximity of the developing pectoral girdle to the somites or to the lateral plate mesoderm, respectively. This position-dependent origin and the diversity of the anatomy of the pectoral girdle among vertebrates implies that the embryonic origin of the pectoral girdle is too variable to be useful for defining homologies or for phylogenetic analysis.
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
Badawy, Gamal; Reinecke, Manfred
Evidence for the presence and potential co-existence of vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP), pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) and nitric oxide synthase (NOS) in gastro-intestinal endocrine cells and/or nerve fibers is conflicting and very few results exist on development. This immunofluorescence study aims to clarify the appearance and localization of VIP, PACAP and NOS in the gastro-intestinal tract of the Axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, during ontogeny. VIP-immunoreactivity appeared in nerve fibers as early as on day 3 after hatching likely indicating a particular role, such as a trophic action, of VIP in very early development. PACAP-immunoreactivity was observed 3 days later within the VIP-immunoreactive (-IR) fibers. From this time on, VIP- and PACAP-immunoreactivity exhibited complete co-existence. VIP/PACAP-IR fibers were found throughout the gastro-intestinal tract. They were most prominent in the myenteric plexus and the muscle layers and less frequent in the submucosa. NOS-immunoreactivity appeared as late as at the 1st (64 days) juvenile stage in a subpopulation of the VIP/PACAP-IR fibers that contacted submucosal arteries. We found only very few VIP/PACAP-IR perikarya, indicating that part of the VIP/PACAP-IR fibers is of extrinsic origin. On day 12 and in the 1st and 2nd (104 days) juvenile stage, infrequent PACAP-IR entero-endocrine cells were noted, while neither VIP- nor NOS-immunoreactivity occurred in endocrine cells at any stage of development. The complete coexistence of neuronal PACAP- and VIP-immunoreactivities and their very early appearance in ontogeny may suggest important and coordinated roles of both peptides in the control of Axolotl gastro-intestinal activity, while the VIP/ PACAP/NOS-IR fibers may be involved in the regulation of submucosal blood flow.
Janssens, P A; Grigg, J A
The beta-adrenergic ligand iodocyanopindolol (ICP) bound specifically to hepatic plasma membrane preparations from the axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum (Bmax, 40 fmol/mg protein (P) at free concentration above 140 pM; KD, 42 pM); the toad, Xenopus laevis (Bmax, 200 fmol/mg P at 1 nM; KD, 300 pM); and the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri (Bmax, 100 fmol/mg P at 5 nM). For the lungfish, the Scatchard plot was curved showing two classes of binding site with KD's of 20 and 500 pM. Neither the alpha 1-adrenergic ligand prazosin nor the alpha 2-adrenergic ligand yohimbine bound specifically to hepatic membrane preparations from any of the three species. Several adrenergic ligands displaced ICP from hepatic membrane preparations of all three species with KD's of Axolotl--propranolol, 50 nM; isoprenaline, 600 nM; adrenaline, 10 microM; phenylephrine, 20 microM; noradrenaline, 40 microM; and phentolamine, greater than 100 microM; X. laevis--propranolol, 30 nM; isoprenaline, 100 microM; adrenaline, 200 microM; noradrenaline, 300 microM; phenylephrine, 1 mM; and phentolamine, greater than 1 mM; N. forsteri,--propranolol, 25 nM; isoprenaline, 1 microM; adrenaline, 20 microM; phenylephrine, 35 microM; noradrenaline, 600 microM; and phentolamine, 400 microM. These findings suggest that alpha-adrenergic receptors are not present in hepatic plasma membrane preparations from these three species and that the hepatic actions of catecholamines are mediated via beta-adrenergic receptors. The order of binding of the beta-adrenergic ligands suggests that the receptors are of the beta 2 type.
Ghosh, Sukla; Roy, Stéphane; Séguin, Carl; Bryant, Susan V; Gardiner, David M
Urodele amphibians are unique adult vertebrates because they are able to regenerate body parts after amputation. Studies of urodele limb regeneration, the key model system for vertebrate regeneration, have led to an understanding of the origin of blastema cells and the importance of positional interactions between blastema cells in the control of growth and pattern formation. Progress is now being made in the identification of the signaling pathways that regulate dedifferentiation, blastema morphogenesis, growth and pattern formation. Members of the Wnt family of secreted proteins are expressed in developing and regenerating limbs, and have the potential to control growth, pattern formation and differentiation. We have studied the expression of two non-canonical Wnt genes, Wnt-5a and Wnt-5b. We report that they are expressed in equivalent patterns during limb development and limb regeneration in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), and during limb development in other tetrapods, implying conservation of function. Our analysis of the effects of ectopic Wnt-5a expression is consistent with the hypothesis that canonical Wnt signaling functions during the early stages of regeneration to control the dedifferentiation of stump cells giving rise to the regeneration-competent cells of the blastema.
Smith, J J; Kump, D K; Walker, J A; Parichy, D M; Voss, S R
Expressed sequence tag (EST) markers were developed for Ambystoma tigrinum tigrinum (Eastern tiger salamander) and for A. mexicanum (Mexican axolotl) to generate the first comprehensive linkage map for these model amphibians. We identified 14 large linkage groups (125.5-836.7 cM) that presumably correspond to the 14 haploid chromosomes in the Ambystoma genome. The extent of genome coverage for these linkage groups is apparently high because the total map size (5251 cM) falls within the range of theoretical estimates and is consistent with independent empirical estimates. Unlike most vertebrate species, linkage map size in Ambystoma is not strongly correlated with chromosome arm number. Presumably, the large physical genome size ( approximately 30 Gbp) is a major determinant of map size in Ambystoma. To demonstrate the utility of this resource, we mapped the position of two historically significant A. mexicanum mutants, white and melanoid, and also met, a quantitative trait locus (QTL) that contributes to variation in metamorphic timing. This new collection of EST-based PCR markers will better enable the Ambystoma system by facilitating development of new molecular probes, and the linkage map will allow comparative studies of this important vertebrate group.
Difference of the in vivo responsiveness to thyrotropin stimulation between the neotenic and metamorphosed axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum: failure of prolactin to block the thyrotropin-induced thyroxine release.
Darras, V M; Kühn, E R
Basal and TSH-induced plasma concentrations of T4 have been measured by radioimmunoassay in the neotenic and metamorphosed male axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum both before and after an ovine prolactin pretreatment. All injections are made into the vena abdominalis. Basal levels of T4 are low in neotenes (85 +/- 19 pg/ml) and somewhat higher in metamorphosed Ambystoma (171 +/- 39 pg/ml), but are increased during metamorphosis (1094 +/- 138 pg/ml). Following injection of 5 mU bovine TSH circulating levels of T4 are raised about 4 times in neotenes, but more than 50 times in metamorphose animals. Three intravenous injections, each of 640 mU prolactin and given, respectively, 24 and 13 hr before and simultaneously with 5 mU TSH, do not inhibit the TSH-induced release in both experimental groups. In the metamorphosed Ambystoma again a more than 50-fold T4 increase is present, whereas in neotenes a 10-fold TSH-induced T4 release is seen, which is more pronounced than before the prolactin treatment. It is concluded that in A. mexicanum ovine prolactin does not block a TSH-induced T4 release and that any antagonistic action with thyroid hormones is not mediated through the thyroid gland.
Localization of amylin-like immunoreactivity in melanocyte-stimulating hormone-containing cells of the pars intermedia but not those of the pars distalis in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) pituitary.
Suzuki, Hirohumi; Yamamoto, Toshiharu
Immunohistochemical techniques were employed to investigate the distribution of amylin-like immunoreactivity in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) pituitary. Amylin-immunoreactive cells were observed in the pars intermedia, and these cells were found to be immunoreactive for α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (αMSH) as well. In contrast, αMSH-immunoreactive cells in the pars distalis were immuno-negaitive for amylin. These light microscopic findings were confirmed by immunoelectron microscopy. Amylin-immunoreactive signals were located on the haloes of presumable secretory granules in association with αMSH-immunoreactive signals in the amylin-positive cells. However, in the pars distalis, the αMSH-positive cells did not contain amylin-immunoreactive secretory granules. Western blot analysis of axolotl pituitary extracts revealed the labeling of a protein band at approximately 10.5-kDa by the anti-rat amylin serum, which was not labeled by the anti-αMSH antibody. These findings indicate that amylin secreted from MSH-producing cells in the pars intermedia may modulate MSH secretion in an autocrine fashion and may participate in MSH functions such as fatty homeostasis together with MSH.
Phan, Anne Q.; Lee, Jangwoo; Oei, Michelle; Flath, Craig; Hwe, Caitlyn; Mariano, Rachele; Vu, Tiffany; Shu,Cynthia; Dinh, Andrew; Simkin, Jennifer; Muneoka, Ken; Bryant, Susan V.; Gardiner, David M
Abstract Urodele amphibians are unique among adult vertebrates in their ability to regenerate complex body structures after traumatic injury. In salamander regeneration, the cells maintain a memory of their original position and use this positional information to recreate the missing pattern. We used an in vivo gain‐of‐function assay to determine whether components of the extracellular matrix (ECM) have positional information required to induce formation of new limb pattern during regeneratio...
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.
Theodosiou, Maria; Monaghan, James R; Spencer, Michael L; Voss, S. Randal; Noonan, Daniel J.
Retinoic acid, a key morphogen in early vertebrate development and tissue regeneration, mediates its effects through the binding of receptors that act as ligand-induced transcription factors. These binding events function to recruit an array of transcription co-regulatory proteins to specific gene promoters. One such co-regulatory protein, neuronal proliferation and differentiation control-1 (NPDC-1), is broadly expressed during mammalian development and functions as an in vitro repressor of ...
Brew, Helen; Attwell, David
Glutamate is taken up avidly by glial cells in the central nervous system1. Glutamate uptake may terminate the transmitter action of glutamate released from neurons1, and keep extracellular glutamate at concentrations below those which are neurotoxic. We report here that glutamate evokes a large inward current in retinal glial cells which have their membrane potential and intracellular ion concentrations controlled by the whole-cell patch-clamp technique2. This current seems to be due to an electrogenic glutamate uptake carrier, which transports at least two sodium ions with every glutamate anion carried into the cell. Glutamate uptake is strongly voltage-dependent, decreasing at depolarized potentials: when fully activated, it contributes almost half of the conductance in the part of the glial cell membrane facing the retinal neurons. The spatial localization, glutamate affinity and magnitude of the uptake are appropriate for terminating the synaptic action of glutamate released from photoreceptors and bipolar cells. These data challenge present explanations of how the b-wave of the electroretinogram is generated, and suggest a mechanism for non-vesicular voltage-dependent release of glutamate from neurons.
McCusker, Catherine D; Gardiner, David M
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.
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.
Cano-Martínez, Agustina; Vargas-González, Alvaro; Guarner-Lans, Verónica; Prado-Zayago, Esteban; León-Oleda, Martha; Nieto-Lima, Betzabé
"In the present study we evaluated the effect of partial ventricular amputation (PVA) in the heart of the adult urodele amphibian (Ambystoma mexicanum) in vivo on spontaneous heart contractile activity recorded in vitro in association to the structural recovery at one, five, 30 and 90 days after injury. One day after PVA, ventricular-tension (VT) (16 ± 3%), atrium-tension (AT) (46 ± 4%) and heart rate (HR) (58+10%) resulted lower in comparison to control hearts. On days five, 30 and 90 after damage, values achieved a 61 ± 5, 93 ± 3, and 98 ± 5% (VT), 60 ± 4, 96 ± 3 and 99 ± 5% (AT) and 74 ± 5, 84 ± 10 and 95 ± 10% (HR) of the control values, respectively. Associated to contractile activity recovery we corroborated a gradual tissue restoration by cardiomyocyte proliferation. Our results represent the first quantitative evidence about the recovery of heart of A. mexicanum restores its functional capacity concomitantly to the structural recovery of the myocardium by proliferation of cardiomyocytes after PVA. These properties make the heart of A. mexicanum a potential model to study the mechanisms underlying heart regeneration in adult vertebrates in vivo.
Satoh, Akira; Cummings, Gillian M C; Bryant, Susan V; Gardiner, David M
Intercalation is the process whereby cells located at the boundary of a wound interact to stimulate proliferation and the restoration of the structures between the boundaries that were lost during wounding. Thus, intercalation is widely considered to be the mechanism of regeneration. When a salamander limb is amputated, the entire cascade of regeneration events is activated, and the missing limb segments and their boundaries (joints) as well as the structures within each segment are regenerated. Therefore, in an amputated limb it is not possible to distinguish between intersegmental regeneration (formation of new segments/joints) and intrasegmental regeneration (formation of structures within a given segment), and it is not possible to study the differential regulation of these two processes. We have used two models for regeneration that allow us to study these two processes independently, and report that inter- and intrasegmental regeneration are different processes regulated by different signaling pathways. New limb segments/joints can be regenerated from cells that dedifferentiate to form blastema cells in response to signaling that is mediated in part by fibroblast growth factor.
Wistuba, J; Völker, W; Ehmcke, J; Clemen, G
Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) involved in the formation of the teeth of Ambystoma mexicanum were located and characterized with the cuprolinic blue (CB) staining method and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Glycosaminoglycan-cuprolinic blue precipitates (GAGCB) were found in different compartments of the mineralizing tissue. Various populations of elongated GAGCB could be discriminated both according to their size and their preferential distribution in the extracellular matrix (ECM). GAGCB populations that differ in their composition could be attributed not only to the compartments of the ECM but also to different zones and to different tooth types (early-larval and transformed). Larger precipitates were only observed within the dentine matrix of the shaft of the early-larval tooth. The composition of the populations differed significantly between the regions of the transformed tooth: pedicel, shaft and dividing zone. In later stages of tooth formation, small-sized GAGCBs were seen as intracellular deposits in the ameloblasts. It is concluded that the composition of GAGCB populations seems to play a role in the mineralization processes during tooth development in A. mexicanum and influence qualitative characteristics of the mineral in different tooth types and zones, and it is suggested that GAGs might be resorbed by the enamel epithelium during the late phase of enamel formation.
Hansen, Kasper; Lauridsen, Henrik; Pedersen, Michael
, the data is only indicative. At present, 80 constitutive days of HBOT has been performed for HBOT1. HBOT2 animals were not able to tolerate hyperbaric gaseous oxygen, and were excluded after 3 HBO treatments. No indicative effect of HBOT on whole limb regeneration has yet been identified. Discussion...
Erickson, Jami R; Echeverri, Karen
The ability to regenerate diseased, injured, or missing complex tissue is widespread throughout lower vertebrates and invertebrates; however, our knowledge of the molecular mechanisms that regulate this amazing ability is still in its infancy. Many recent papers have shown important roles for microRNAs in regulating regeneration in a number of species. The ability to detect and quantify miRNA expression fluctuations at a single cell level in vivo in different cell types during processes like regeneration is very informative. In this chapter, we describe how to use a dual-fluorescent green fluorescent protein (GFP)-reporter/monomeric red fluorescent protein (mRFP)-sensor (DFRS) plasmid to quantitate the dynamics of specific miRNAs over time following miRNA mimic injection as well as during regeneration. In this bicistronic vector, the mRFP allows for verification of miRNA expression, while the GFP functions as an internal control to normalize miRNA expression and thus obtain quantitative results. In addition, we demonstrate how this technique revealed dynamic miR-23a expression and function during tail regeneration.
Lee, Jangwoo; Aguilar, Cristian; Gardiner, David
The adult salamander has been studied as a model for regeneration of complex tissues for many decades. Only recently with the development of gain-of-function assays for regeneration, has it been possible to screen for and assay the function of the multitude of signaling factors that have been identified in studies of embryonic development and tumorigenesis. Given the conservation of function of these regulatory pathways controlling growth and pattern formation, it is now possible to use the functional assays in the salamander to test the ability of endogenous as well as small-molecule signaling factors to induce a regenerative response.
The problem of the retardation of the processes of growth and differentiation is certainly as important as the processes of growth and differentiation themselves. It is striking, therefore, that whereas the analysis of growth has been carried out for a considerable period of time already, the analys
Satoh, Akira; Bryant, Susan V; Gardiner, David M
The ability of adult vertebrates to repair tissue damage is widespread and impressive; however, the ability to regenerate structurally complex organs such as the limb is limited largely to the salamanders. The fact that most of the tissues of the limb can regenerate has led investigators to question and identify the barriers to organ regeneration. From studies in the salamander, it is known that one of the earliest steps required for successful regeneration involves signaling between nerves and the wound epithelium/apical epithelial cap (AEC). In this study we confirm an earlier report that the keratinocytes of the AEC acquire their function coincident with exiting the cell cycle. We have discovered that this unique, coordinated behavior is regulated by nerve signaling and is associated with the presence of gap junctions between the basal keratinocytes of the AEC. Disruption of nerve signaling results in a loss of gap junction protein, the reentry of the cells into the cell cycle, and regenerative failure. Finally, coordinated exit from the cell cycle appears to be a conserved behavior of populations of cells that function as signaling centers during both development and regeneration.
Mes-Hartree, M; Armstrong, J B
Cell-lethal developmental mutations, which are presumed to affect the viability of all cells in a mutant embryo, have been distinguished from other development lethals on the basis of the results of parabiosis and transplant experiments. Premature death (p), previously classified as a cell lethal, does not survive parabiosis. However, transplants involving mutant eye, flank epidermis and primordial limb tissue all survived on a normal recipient. The mutant, therefore, cannot be considered a true cell lethal, though it suffers from serious and widespread abnormalities that cannot be corrected by parabiosis. In addition, transplants of mutant branchial mound tissue did not develop into normal gills on a normal recipient. These transplants were the only ones involving mutant endoderm, and their failure supports our hypothesis that the mutation leads to a specific endoderm defect.
Nacu, Eugen; Glausch, Mareen; Le, Huy Quang; Damanik, Febriyani Fiain Rochel; Schuez, Maritta; Knapp, Dunja; Khattak, Shahryar; Richter, Tobias; Tanaka, Elly M
During salamander limb regeneration, only the structures distal to the amputation plane are regenerated, a property known as the rule of distal transformation. Multiple cell types are involved in limb regeneration; therefore, determining which cell types participate in distal transformation is important for understanding how the proximo-distal outcome of regeneration is achieved. We show that connective tissue-derived blastema cells obey the rule of distal transformation. They also have nuclear MEIS, which can act as an upper arm identity regulator, only upon upper arm amputation. By contrast, myogenic cells do not obey the rule of distal transformation and display nuclear MEIS upon amputation at any proximo-distal level. These results indicate that connective tissue cells, but not myogenic cells, are involved in establishing the proximo-distal outcome of regeneration and are likely to guide muscle patterning. Moreover, we show that, similarly to limb development, muscle patterning in regeneration is influenced by β-catenin signalling.
黄明玉; 下川隆; 木南利栄子; 安高悟; 篠原治道
potential (TEP) (Johnston and Hoshiko, 1971; Rick et al., 1988; Shi and Borgens, 1994). In the axolotl neurulae, a gradient of 10 - 20 mV/mm is...reach 60-80 mV/mm. A more shallow voltage gradient is observed in the transverse plane of axolotl neurulae associated with mirror image outwardly
Full Text Available 00512_699( AE000512 |pid:none) Thermotoga maritima MSB8, comple... 42 0.065 JC2551( JC2551 ) tropomyosin alpha chain - axolotl...AltName: Full=Myosin heavy chai... 42 0.11 JC6199( JC6199 ) alpha-tropomyosin S-1 - axolotl &U33450_1(U33450
hour LC50 values of 205 µg/L (Ambystoma mexicanum, the axolotl ) and 23,494 µg/L (X. laevis) and several toxicity tests with adult male and female...organisms Stage 28; 25oC Ferrari et al. 1993 RATL Ambystoma mexicanum Axolotl Adult 205 UG/L LC50 24 HR 50% mortality in test organisms -- Vaal et al...Secondary 48-HOUR LC50 Ambystoma mexicanum Axolotl Embryo 470 UG/L LC50 48 HR 50% mortality in test
http://www .indiana.edu/- axolotl ). 10.0 JUSTIFICATION OF TEST SYSTEM Perchlorate occurs in ground and surface waters in 44 states in the USA... axolotl ). * Sequentially numbered in order of the date that the change is effective Dept. of Biological Sciences (DBS) Box 43131 Lubbock, TX 79409...KCl, 0.025 giL; CaCh2 H20, 0.65 g/L; MgS04·7H20, 0.1 giL (http://www.indiana.edu/~ axolotl ). *Sequentially numbered in order of the date that the
was given a nut by Wendy, and Druce did 0 too. 0 = ? 41. The aardvark was given two peanuts for its birthday, and the axolotl was 0 too. 0...given two peanuts for its birthday 42. Wendy avoidf the aardvark, and the axolotl was 0 too. 0 = 7 In the case of multiple passives (such as are...the axolotl was 0 too. 0 = given an apple 45. Bert is a super dentist and his father was 0 too. 0 = (be) a super dentist Moreover, it appeals to me
Hansen, G N; Hansen, B L; Jørgensen, P N
The pancreas of the axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, was investigated by immunocytochemical methods for the presence of immunoreactivity to a number of antisera raised against mammalian insulins. All anti-insulin antisera tested revealed substantial amounts of reaction products confined solely...
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.
Reyes-Ruiz, Jorge Mauricio; Limon, Agenor; Korn, Matthew J; Nakamura, Paul A; Shirkey, Nicole J; Wong, Jamie K; Miledi, Ricardo
Ability to regenerate limbs and central nervous system (CNS) is unique to few vertebrates, most notably the axolotl (Ambystoma sp.). However, despite the fact the neurotransmitter receptors are involved in axonal regeneration, little is known regarding its expression profile. In this project, RT-PCR and qPCR were performed to gain insight into the neurotransmitter receptors present in Ambystoma. Its functional ability was studied by expressing axolotl receptors in Xenopus laevis oocytes by either injection of mRNA or by direct microtransplantation of brain membranes. Oocytes injected with axolotl mRNA expressed ionotropic receptors activated by GABA, aspartate+glycine and kainate, as well as metabotropic receptors activated by acetylcholine and glutamate. Interestingly, we did not see responses following the application of serotonin. Membranes from the axolotl brain were efficiently microtransplanted into Xenopus oocytes and two types of native GABA receptors that differed in the temporal course of their responses and affinities to GABA were observed. Results of this study are necessary for further characterization of axolotl neurotransmitter receptors and may be useful for guiding experiments aimed at understanding activity-dependant limb and CNS regeneration.
Sandoval-Guzmán, Tatiana; Wang, Heng; Khattak, Shahryar; Schuez, Maritta; Roensch, Kathleen; Nacu, Eugeniu; Tazaki, Akira; Joven, Alberto; Tanaka, Elly M; Simon, András
Salamanders regenerate appendages via a progenitor pool called the blastema. The cellular mechanisms underlying regeneration of muscle have been much debated but have remained unclear. Here we applied Cre-loxP genetic fate mapping to skeletal muscle during limb regeneration in two salamander species, Notophthalmus viridescens (newt) and Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl). Remarkably, we found that myofiber dedifferentiation is an integral part of limb regeneration in the newt, but not in axolotl. In the newt, myofiber fragmentation results in proliferating, PAX7(-) mononuclear cells in the blastema that give rise to the skeletal muscle in the new limb. In contrast, myofibers in axolotl do not generate proliferating cells, and do not contribute to newly regenerated muscle; instead, resident PAX7(+) cells provide the regeneration activity. Our results therefore show significant diversity in limb muscle regeneration mechanisms among salamanders and suggest that multiple strategies may be feasible for inducing regeneration in other species, including mammals.
Kumar, Anoop; Nevill, Graham; Brockes, Jeremy P; Forge, Andrew
Limb regeneration in salamanders proceeds by formation of the blastema, a mound of proliferating mesenchymal cells surrounded by a wound epithelium. Regeneration by the blastema depends on the presence of regenerating nerves and in earlier work it was shown that axons upregulate the expression of newt anterior gradient (nAG) protein first in Schwann cells of the nerve sheath and second in dermal glands underlying the wound epidermis. The expression of nAG protein after plasmid electroporation was shown to rescue a denervated newt blastema and allow regeneration to the digit stage. We have examined the dermal glands by scanning and transmission electron microscopy combined with immunogold labelling of the nAG protein. It is expressed in secretory granules of ductless glands, which apparently discharge by a holocrine mechanism. No external ducts were observed in the wound epithelium of the newt and axolotl. The larval skin of the axolotl has dermal glands but these are absent under the wound epithelium. The nerve sheath was stained post-amputation in innervated but not denervated blastemas with an antibody to axolotl anterior gradient protein. This antibody reacted with axolotl Leydig cells in the wound epithelium and normal epidermis. Staining was markedly decreased in the wound epithelium after denervation but not in the epidermis. Therefore, in both newt and axolotl the regenerating axons induce nAG protein in the nerve sheath and subsequently the protein is expressed by gland cells, under (newt) or within (axolotl) the wound epithelium, which discharge by a holocrine mechanism. These findings serve to unify the nerve dependence of limb regeneration.
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
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
Perrier, J F; Hounsgaard, J
vertebrates in terms of both phylogeny and ontogeny. Spinal motoneurons in adults are remarkably similar in many respects ranging from the resting membrane potential to pacemaker properties. Apart from the axolotls, spinal motoneurons from all species investigated have latent intrinsic response properties...
Shoots, Jenny; Fraccalvieri, Domenico; Franks, Diana G; Denison, Michael S; Hahn, Mark E; Bonati, Laura; Powell, Wade H
Structural features of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) can underlie species- and population-specific differences in its affinity for 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). These differences often explain variations in TCDD toxicity. Frogs are relatively insensitive to dioxin, and Xenopus AHRs bind TCDD with low affinity. Weak TCDD binding results from the combination of three residues in the ligand-binding domain: A354 and A370, and N325. Here we sought to determine whether this mechanism of weak TCDD binding is shared by other amphibian AHRs. We isolated an AHR cDNA from the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). The encoded polypeptide contains identical residues at positions that confer low TCDD affinity to X. laevis AHRs (A364, A380, and N335), and homology modeling predicts they protrude into the binding cavity. Axolotl AHR bound one-tenth the TCDD of mouse AHR in velocity sedimentation analysis, and in transactivation assays, the EC50 for TCDD was 23 nM, similar to X. laevis AHR1β (27 nM) and greater than AHR containing the mouse ligand-binding domain (0.08 nM). Sequence, modeled structure, and function indicate that axolotl AHR binds TCDD weakly, predicting that A. mexicanum lacks sensitivity toTCDD toxicity. We hypothesize that this characteristic of axolotl and Xenopus AHRs arose in a common ancestor of the Caudata and Anura.
McCusker, Catherine D; Diaz-Castillo, Carlos; Sosnik, Julian; Q Phan, Anne; Gardiner, David M
The Mexican Axolotl is one of the few tetrapod species that is capable of regenerating complete skeletal elements in injured adult limbs. Whether the skeleton (bone and cartilage) plays a role in the patterning and contribution to the skeletal regenerate is currently unresolved. We tested the induction of pattern formation, the effect on cell proliferation, and contributions of skeletal tissues (cartilage, bone, and periosteum) to the regenerating axolotl limb. We found that bone tissue grafts from transgenic donors expressing GFP fail to induce pattern formation and do not contribute to the newly regenerated skeleton. Periosteum tissue grafts, on the other hand, have both of these activities. These observations reveal that skeletal tissue does not contribute to the regeneration of skeletal elements; rather, these structures are patterned by and derived from cells of non-skeletal connective tissue origin.
Schnapp, Esther; Tanaka, Elly M; Tamaka, Elly M
Vertebrate regeneration is a fascinating but poorly understood biological phenomena. Urodele amphibians such as Ambystoma mexicanum (the axolotl) can functionally regenerate complex body structures such as the limb and tail, including the spinal cord, throughout life. So far, molecular studies on regeneration have been limited due to the paucity of tools for knocking-down gene and protein function. In this article, we quantitatively assessed the ability of morpholinos to specifically down-regulate protein expression in both cultured urodele cells and in vivo. We focused on the down-regulation of green fluorescent protein and two axolotl proteins, MSX1 and PAX7. Our data show that the expression of these proteins can be efficiently reduced by morpholinos. MSX1 has been hypothesized to be involved in muscle dedifferentiation based on experiments using cultured myotubes. Our studies in in vivo muscle fibers so far have shown no influence of overexpressing or down-regulating MSX1 on the dedifferentiation process.
McHedlishvili, Levan; Mazurov, Vladimir; Tanaka, Elly M
Urodele amphibians such as axolotl are well known for their regenerative potential of the damaged central nervous system structures. Upon tail amputation, neural stem cells behind the amputation plane undergo self-renewing divisions and contribute to the functional spinal cord in the newly formed regenerate. The neural stem cells, harboring this potential, can be isolated from the animal and cultured under the suspension conditions. After 2-3 weeks in vitro they will proliferate and form the floating aggregates of the spherical shape, so-called neurospheres. Reimplanted back into the animal, the neurospheres can efficiently integrate in the spinal cord lesion and contribute to the following spinal cord regeneration events. Here we demonstrate the unique method of the axolotl tail spinal cord regeneration from the implanted neurosphere.
Sefton, Elizabeth M; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S; Mohaddes, Zahra; Hanken, James
Vertebrate neck musculature spans the transition zone between head and trunk. The extent to which the cucullaris muscle is a cranial muscle allied with the gill levators of anamniotes or is instead a trunk muscle is an ongoing debate. Novel computed tomography datasets reveal broad conservation of the cucullaris in gnathostomes, including coelacanth and caecilian, two sarcopterygians previously thought to lack it. In chicken, lateral plate mesoderm (LPM) adjacent to occipital somites is a recently identified embryonic source of cervical musculature. We fate-map this mesoderm in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), which retains external gills, and demonstrate its contribution to posterior gill-levator muscles and the cucullaris. Accordingly, LPM adjacent to the occipital somites should be regarded as posterior cranial mesoderm. The axial position of the head-trunk border in axolotl is congruent between LPM and somitic mesoderm, unlike in chicken and possibly other amniotes.
TERMS limb regeneration Positional Memory Code Axolotl microRNAs Zebrafish Polypterus 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: 17. LIMITATION OF ABSTRACT 18...appendage system as a reference for regeneration . These previous zebrafish studies identified the cell cycle regulator (mps1), the Fibroblast growth...Tissues. qRT-PCR validation of differential expression of commonly up-regulated (A) and down-regulated (B) miRNAs in regenerating zebrafish caudal fins
Brown, L E; King, J R; Loose, M
Understanding the Gene Regulatory Networks (GRNs) that underlie development is a major question for systems biology. The establishment of the germ layers is amongst the earliest events of development and has been characterised in numerous model systems. The establishment of the mesoderm is best characterised in the frog Xenopus laevis and has been well studied both experimentally and mathematically. However, the Xenopus network has significant differences from that in mouse and humans, including the presence of multiple copies of two key genes in the network, Mix and Nodal. The axolotl, a urodele amphibian, provides a model with all the benefits of amphibian embryology but crucially only a single Mix and Nodal gene required for the specification of the mesoderm. Remarkably, the number of genes within the network is not the only difference. The interaction between Mix and Brachyury, two transcription factors involved in the establishment of the endoderm and mesoderm respectively, is not conserved. While Mix represses Brachyury in Xenopus, it activates Brachyury in axolotl. Thus, whilst the topology of the networks in the two species differs, both are able to form mesoderm and endoderm in vivo. Based on current knowledge of the structure of the mesendoderm GRN we develop deterministic models that describe the time evolution of transcription factors in a single axolotl cell and compare numerical simulations with previous results from Xenopus. The models are shown to have stable steady states corresponding to mesoderm and anterior mesendoderm, with the in vitro model showing how the concentration of Activin can determine cell fate, while the in vivo model shows that β-catenin concentration can determine cell fate. Moreover, our analysis suggests that additional components must be important in the axolotl network in the specification of the full range of tissues.
Ziermann, Janine M; Diogo, Rui
There is still confusion about the homology of several cranial muscles in salamanders with those of other vertebrates. This is true, in part, because of the fact that many muscles present in early ontogeny of amphibians disappear during development and specifically during metamorphosis. Resolving this confusion is important for the understanding of the comparative and evolutionary morphology of vertebrates and tetrapods because amphibians are the phylogenetically most plesiomorphic tetrapods, concerning for example their myology, and include two often used model organisms, Xenopus laevis (anuran) and Ambystoma mexicanum (urodele). Here we provide the first detailed report of the cranial muscle development in axolotl from early ontogenetic stages to the adult stage. We describe different and complementary types of general muscle morphogenetic gradients in the head: from anterior to posterior, from lateral to medial, and from origin to insertion. Furthermore, even during the development of neotenic salamanders such as axolotls, various larval muscles become indistinct, contradicting the commonly accepted view that during ontogeny the tendency is mostly toward the differentiation of muscles. We provide an updated comparison between these muscles and the muscles of other vertebrates, a discussion of the homologies and evolution, and show that the order in which the muscles appear during axolotl ontogeny is in general similar to their appearance in phylogeny (e.g. differentiation of adductor mandibulae muscles from one anlage to four muscles), with only a few remarkable exceptions, as for example the dilatator laryngis that appears evolutionary later but in the development before the intermandibularis.
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.
Blassberg, Robert A; Garza-Garcia, Acely; Janmohamed, Azara; Gates, Phillip B; Brockes, Jeremy P
The GPI-anchor is an established determinant of molecular localisation and various functional roles have been attributed to it. The newt GPI-anchored three-finger protein (TFP) Prod1 is an important regulator of cell behaviour during limb regeneration, but it is unclear how it signals to the interior of the cell. Prod1 was expressed by transfection in cultured newt limb cells and activated transcription and expression of matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9) by a pathway involving ligand-independent activation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signalling and phosphorylation of extracellular regulated kinase 1 and 2 (ERK1/2). This was dependent on the presence of the GPI-anchor and critical residues in the α-helical region of the protein. Interestingly, Prod1 in the axolotl, a salamander species that also regenerates its limbs, was shown to activate ERK1/2 signalling and MMP9 transcription despite being anchorless, and both newt and axolotl Prod1 co-immunoprecipitated with the newt EGFR after transfection. The substitution of the axolotl helical region activated a secreted, anchorless version of the newt molecule. The activity of the newt molecule cannot therefore depend on a unique property conferred by the anchor. Prod1 is a salamander-specific TFP and its interaction with the phylogenetically conserved EGFR has implications for our view of regeneration as an evolutionary variable.
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
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.
Heinz-Taheny, Kathleen M
The class Amphibia includes three orders of amphibians: the anurans (frogs and toads), urodeles (salamanders, axolotls, and newts), and caecilians. The diversity of lifestyles across these three orders has accompanying differences in the cardiovascular anatomy and physiology allowing for adaptations to aquatic or terrestrial habitats, pulmonic or gill respiration, hibernation, and body elongation (in the caecilian). This article provides a review of amphibian cardiovascular anatomy and physiology with discussion of unique species adaptations. In addition, amphibians as cardiovascular animal models and commonly encountered natural diseases are covered.
McHedlishvili, Levan; Mazurov, Vladimir; Grassme, Kathrin S; Goehler, Kerstin; Robl, Bernhard; Tazaki, Akira; Roensch, Kathleen; Duemmler, Annett; Tanaka, Elly M
We show that after tail amputation in Ambystoma mexicanum (Axolotl) the correct number and spacing of dorsal root ganglia are regenerated. By transplantation of spinal cord tissue and nonclonal neurospheres, we show that the central spinal cord represents a source of peripheral nervous system cells. Interestingly, melanophores migrate from preexisting precursors in the skin. Finally, we demonstrate that implantation of a clonally derived spinal cord neurosphere can result in reconstitution of all examined cell types in the regenerating central spinal cord, suggesting derivation of a cell with spinal cord stem cell properties.
Brown, Donald D.
Exogenous thyroid hormone (TH) induces premature differentiation of the zebrafish pectoral fins, which are analogous to the forelimbs of tetrapods. It accelerates the growth of the pelvic fins but not precociously. Goitrogens, which are chemical inhibitors of TH synthesis by the thyroid gland, inhibit the transition from larva to juvenile fish including the formation of scales, and pigment pattern; they stunt the growth of both pectoral and pelvic paired fins. Inhibition by goitrogens is rescued by the simultaneous addition of thyroxine. The effect of adding TH to the rearing water of the postembryonic Mexican axolotl was reinvestigated under conditions that permit continued growth and development. In addition to morphological changes that have been described, TH greatly stimulates axolotl limb growth causing the resulting larva to be proportioned as an adult in about two months. This study extends the known evolutionary relatedness of tetrapod limbs and fish fins to include the TH stimulation of salamander limb and zebrafish fin growth, and suggests that TH is required to complete the life cycle of a typical bony fish and a salamander at the same developmental stage that it controls anuran and flounder metamorphosis. PMID:9371791
Cook, Adam B; Seifert, Ashley W
Epimorphic regeneration proceeds with or without formation of a blastema, as observed for the limb and skin, respectively. Inhibition of epimorphic regeneration provides a means to interrogate the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate it. In this study, we show that exposing amputated limbs to beryllium nitrate disrupts blastema formation and causes severe patterning defects in limb regeneration. In contrast, exposing full-thickness skin wounds to beryllium only causes a delay in skin regeneration. By transplanting full-thickness skin from ubiquitous GFP-expressing axolotls to wild-type hosts, we demonstrate that beryllium inhibits fibroblast migration during limb and skin regeneration in vivo Moreover, we show that beryllium also inhibits cell migration in vitro using axolotl and human fibroblasts. Interestingly, beryllium did not act as an immunostimulatory agent as it does in Anurans and mammals, nor did it affect keratinocyte migration, proliferation or re-epithelialization, suggesting that the effect of beryllium is cell type-specific. While we did not detect an increase in cell death during regeneration in response to beryllium, it did disrupt cell proliferation in mesenchymal cells. Taken together, our data show that normal blastema organogenesis cannot occur without timely infiltration of local fibroblasts and highlights the importance of positional information to instruct pattern formation during regeneration. In contrast, non-blastemal-based skin regeneration can occur despite early inhibition of fibroblast migration and cell proliferation.
Meulemans, Daniel; Bronner-Fraser, Marianne
The neural crest is a uniquely vertebrate cell type present in the most basal vertebrates, but not in cephalochordates. We have studied differences in regulation of the neural crest marker AP-2 across two evolutionary transitions: invertebrate to vertebrate, and agnathan to gnathostome. Isolation and comparison of amphioxus, lamprey and axolotl AP-2 reveals its extensive expansion in the vertebrate dorsal neural tube and pharyngeal arches, implying co-option of AP-2 genes by neural crest cells early in vertebrate evolution. Expression in non-neural ectoderm is a conserved feature in amphioxus and vertebrates, suggesting an ancient role for AP-2 genes in this tissue. There is also common expression in subsets of ventrolateral neurons in the anterior neural tube, consistent with a primitive role in brain development. Comparison of AP-2 expression in axolotl and lamprey suggests an elaboration of cranial neural crest patterning in gnathostomes. However, migration of AP-2-expressing neural crest cells medial to the pharyngeal arch mesoderm appears to be a primitive feature retained in all vertebrates. Because AP-2 has essential roles in cranial neural crest differentiation and proliferation, the co-option of AP-2 by neural crest cells in the vertebrate lineage was a potentially crucial event in vertebrate evolution.
Kurth, Thomas; Berger, Jürgen; Wilsch-Bräuninger, Michaela; Kretschmar, Susanne; Cerny, Robert; Schwarz, Heinz; Löfberg, Jan; Piendl, Thomas; Epperlein, Hans H
In this chapter we provide a set of different protocols for the ultrastructural analysis of amphibian (Xenopus, axolotl) tissues, mostly of embryonic origin. For Xenopus these methods include: (1) embedding gastrulae and tailbud embryos into Spurr's resin for TEM, (2) post-embedding labeling of methacrylate (K4M) and cryosections through adult and embryonic epithelia for correlative LM and TEM, and (3) pre-embedding labeling of embryonic tissues with silver-enhanced nanogold. For the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) we present the following methods: (1) SEM of migrating neural crest (NC) cells; (2) SEM and TEM of extracellular matrix (ECM) material; (3) Cryo-SEM of extracellular matrix (ECM) material after cryoimmobilization; and (4) TEM analysis of hyaluronan using high-pressure freezing and HABP labeling. These methods provide exemplary approaches for a variety of questions in the field of amphibian development and regeneration, and focus on cell biological issues that can only be answered with fine structural imaging methods, such as electron microscopy.
Satoh, Akira; Makanae, Aki; Nishimoto, Yurie; Mitogawa, Kazumasa
Urodele amphibians have a remarkable organ regeneration ability that is regulated by neural inputs. The identification of these neural inputs has been a challenge. Recently, Fibroblast growth factor (Fgf) and Bone morphogenic protein (Bmp) were shown to substitute for nerve functions in limb and tail regeneration in urodele amphibians. However, direct evidence of Fgf and Bmp being secreted from nerve endings and regulating regeneration has not yet been shown. Thus, it remained uncertain whether they were the nerve factors responsible for successful limb regeneration. To gather experimental evidence, the technical difficulties involved in the usage of axolotls had to be overcome. We achieved this by modifying the electroporation method. When Fgf8-AcGFP or Bmp7-AcGFP was electroporated into the axolotl dorsal root ganglia (DRG), GFP signals were detectable in the regenerating limb region. This suggested that Fgf8 and Bmp7 synthesized in neural cells in the DRG were delivered to the limbs through the long axons. Further knockdown experiments with double-stranded RNA interference resulted in impaired limb regeneration ability. These results strongly suggest that Fgf and Bmp are the major neural inputs that control the organ regeneration ability.
Swiers, Gemma; Chen, Yi-Hsien; Johnson, Andrew D; Loose, Matthew
Understanding how mesoderm is specified during development is a fundamental issue in biology, and it has been studied intensively in embryos from Xenopus. The gene regulatory network (GRN) for Xenopus is surprisingly complex and is not conserved in vertebrates, including mammals, which have single copies of the key genes Nodal and Mix. Why the Xenopus GRN should express multiple copies of Nodal and Mix genes is not known. To understand how these expanded gene families evolved, we investigated mesoderm specification in embryos from axolotls, representing urodele amphibians, since urodele embryology is basal to amphibians and was conserved during the evolution of amniotes, including mammals. We show that single copies of Nodal and Mix are required for mesoderm specification in axolotl embryos, suggesting the ancestral vertebrate state. Furthermore, we uncovered a novel genetic interaction in which Mix induces Brachyury expression, standing in contrast to the relationship of these molecules in Xenopus. However, we demonstrate that this functional relationship is conserved in mammals by showing that it is involved in the production of mesoderm from mouse embryonic stem cells. From our results, we produced an ancestral mesoderm (m)GRN, which we suggest is conserved in vertebrates. The results are discussed within the context of a theory in which the evolution of mechanisms governing early somatic development is constrained by the ancestral germ line-soma relationship, in which germ cells are produced by epigenesis.
Nacu, Eugeniu; Gromberg, Elena; Oliveira, Catarina R; Drechsel, David; Tanaka, Elly M
In salamanders, grafting of a left limb blastema onto a right limb stump yields regeneration of three limbs, the normal limb and two 'supernumerary' limbs. This experiment and other research have shown that the juxtaposition of anterior and posterior limb tissue plus innervation are necessary and sufficient to induce complete limb regeneration in salamanders. However, the cellular and molecular basis of the requirement for anterior-posterior tissue interactions were unknown. Here we have clarified the molecular basis of the requirement for both anterior and posterior tissue during limb regeneration and supernumerary limb formation in axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum). We show that the two tissues provide complementary cross-inductive signals that are required for limb outgrowth. A blastema composed solely of anterior tissue normally regresses rather than forming a limb, but activation of hedgehog (HH) signalling was sufficient to drive regeneration of an anterior blastema to completion owing to its ability to maintain fibroblast growth factor (FGF) expression, the key signalling activity responsible for blastema outgrowth. In blastemas composed solely of posterior tissue, HH signalling was not sufficient to drive regeneration; however, ectopic expression of FGF8 together with endogenous HH signalling was sufficient. In axolotls, FGF8 is expressed only in the anterior mesenchyme and maintenance of its expression depends on sonic hedgehog (SHH) signalling from posterior tissue. Together, our findings identify key anteriorly and posteriorly localized signals that promote limb regeneration and show that these single factors are sufficient to drive non-regenerating blastemas to complete regeneration with full elaboration of skeletal elements.
Zhu, Wei; Kuo, Dwight; Nathanson, Jason; Satoh, Akira; Pao, Gerald M; Yeo, Gene W; Bryant, Susan V; Voss, S Randal; Gardiner, David M; Hunter, Tony
Salamanders possess an extraordinary capacity for tissue and organ regeneration when compared to mammals. In our effort to characterize the unique transcriptional fingerprint emerging during the early phase of salamander limb regeneration, we identified transcriptional activation of some germline-specific genes within the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) that is indicative of cellular reprogramming of differentiated cells into a germline-like state. In this work, we focus on one of these genes, the long interspersed nucleotide element-1 (LINE-1) retrotransposon, which is usually active in germ cells and silent in most of the somatic tissues in other organisms. LINE-1 was found to be dramatically upregulated during regeneration. In addition, higher genomic LINE-1 content was also detected in the limb regenerate when compared to that before amputation indicating that LINE-1 retrotransposition is indeed active during regeneration. Active LINE-1 retrotransposition has been suggested to have a potentially deleterious impact on genomic integrity. Silencing of activated LINE-1 by small RNAs has been reported to be part of the machinery aiming to maintain genomic integrity. Indeed, we were able to identify putative LINE-1-related piRNAs in the limb blastema. Transposable element-related piRNAs have been identified frequently in the germline in other organisms. Thus, we present here a scenario in which a unique germline-like state is established during axolotl limb regeneration, and the re-activation of LINE-1 may serve as a marker for cellular dedifferentiation in the early-stage of limb regeneration.
Godwin, James W; Pinto, Alexander R; Rosenthal, Nadia A
The failure to replace damaged body parts in adult mammals results from a muted growth response and fibrotic scarring. Although infiltrating immune cells play a major role in determining the variable outcome of mammalian wound repair, little is known about the modulation of immune cell signaling in efficiently regenerating species such as the salamander, which can regrow complete body structures as adults. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of immune signaling during limb regeneration in axolotl, an aquatic salamander, and reveal a temporally defined requirement for macrophage infiltration in the regenerative process. Although many features of mammalian cytokine/chemokine signaling are retained in the axolotl, they are more dynamically deployed, with simultaneous induction of inflammatory and anti-inflammatory markers within the first 24 h after limb amputation. Systemic macrophage depletion during this period resulted in wound closure but permanent failure of limb regeneration, associated with extensive fibrosis and disregulation of extracellular matrix component gene expression. Full limb regenerative capacity of failed stumps was restored by reamputation once endogenous macrophage populations had been replenished. Promotion of a regeneration-permissive environment by identification of macrophage-derived therapeutic molecules may therefore aid in the regeneration of damaged body parts in adult mammals.
Diaz Quiroz, Juan Felipe; Tsai, Eve; Coyle, Matthew; Sehm, Tina; Echeverri, Karen
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.
Sefton, Elizabeth M; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S; Mohaddes, Zahra; Hanken, James
Vertebrate neck musculature spans the transition zone between head and trunk. The extent to which the cucullaris muscle is a cranial muscle allied with the gill levators of anamniotes or is instead a trunk muscle is an ongoing debate. Novel computed tomography datasets reveal broad conservation of the cucullaris in gnathostomes, including coelacanth and caecilian, two sarcopterygians previously thought to lack it. In chicken, lateral plate mesoderm (LPM) adjacent to occipital somites is a recently identified embryonic source of cervical musculature. We fate-map this mesoderm in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), which retains external gills, and demonstrate its contribution to posterior gill-levator muscles and the cucullaris. Accordingly, LPM adjacent to the occipital somites should be regarded as posterior cranial mesoderm. The axial position of the head-trunk border in axolotl is congruent between LPM and somitic mesoderm, unlike in chicken and possibly other amniotes. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09972.001 PMID:27090084
Stolz, Michaela; Klapperstück, Manuela; Kendzierski, Thomas; Detro-Dassen, Silvia; Panning, Anna; Schmalzing, Günther; Markwardt, Fritz
The P2X7 receptor (P2X7R) is a ligand-gated ion channel that conducts Na(+), K(+), and Ca(2+) when activated by extracellular ATP. In various cell types, such as secretory epithelia, the P2X7R is co-expressed with Ca(2+)-dependent Cl(-) channels of the TMEM16/anoctamin family. Here, we studied whether the P2X7R and TMEM16A/anoctamin-1 (Ano1) or TMEM16F/anoctamin-6 (Ano6) interact functionally and physically, using oocytes of Xenopus laevis and Ambystoma mexicanum (Axolotl) for heterologous expression. As a control, we co-expressed anoctamin-1 with the P2Y1 receptor (P2Y1R), which induces the release of Ca(2+) from intracellular stores via activating phospholipase C through coupling to Gαq. We found that co-expression of anoctamin-1 with the P2Y1R resulted in a small transient increase in Cl(-) conductance in response to ATP. Co-expression of anoctamin-1 with the P2X7R resulted in a large sustained increase in Cl(-) conductance via Ca(2+) influx through the ATP-opened P2X7R in Xenopus and in Axolotl oocytes, which lack endogenous Ca(2+)-dependent Cl(-) channels. P2Y1R- or P2X7R-mediated stimulation of Ano1 was primarily functional, as demonstrated by the absence of a physically stable interaction between Ano1 and the P2X7R. In the pancreatic cell line AsPC-1, we found the same functional Ca(2+)-dependent interaction of P2X7R and Ano1. The P2X7R-mediated sustained activation of Ano1 may be physiologically relevant to the time course of stimulus-secretion coupling in secretory epithelia. No such increase in Cl(-) conductance could be elicited by activating the P2X7 receptor in either Xenopus oocytes or Axolotl oocytes co-expressing Ano6. The lack of function of Ano6 can, at least in part, be explained by its poor cell-surface expression, resulting from a relatively inefficient exit of the homodimeric Ano6 from the endoplasmic reticulum.
Satoh, Akira; Hirata, Ayako; Makanae, Aki
Amphibians can regenerate missing body parts, including limbs. The regulation of collagen has been considered to be important in limb regeneration. Collagen deposition is suppressed during limb regeneration, so we investigated collagen deposition and apical epithelial cap (AEC) formation during axolotl limb regeneration. The accessory limb model (ALM) has been developed as an alternative model for studying limb regeneration. Using this model, we investigated the relationship between nerves, epidermis, and collagen deposition. We found that Sp-9, an AEC marker gene, was upregulated by direct interaction between nerves and epidermis. However, collagen deposition hindered this interaction, and resulted in the failure of limb regeneration. During wound healing, an increase in deposition of collagen caused a decrease in the blastema induction rate in ALM. Wound healing and limb regeneration are alternate processes.
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.
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.
Roensch, Kathleen; Tazaki, Akira; Chara, Osvaldo; Tanaka, Elly M
An amputated salamander limb regenerates the correct number of segments. Models explaining limb regeneration were largely distinct from those for limb development, despite the presence of common patterning molecules. Intercalation has been an important concept to explain salamander limb regeneration, but clear evidence supporting or refuting this model was lacking. In the intercalation model, the first blastema cells acquire fingertip identity, creating a gap in positional identity that triggers regeneration of the intervening region from the stump. We used HOXA protein analysis and transplantation assays to show that axolotl limb blastema cells acquire positional identity in a proximal-to-distal sequence. Therefore, intercalation is not the primary mechanism for segment formation during limb regeneration in this animal. Patterning in development and regeneration uses similar mechanisms.
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...
Maddin, Hillary C.; Piekarski, Nadine; Sefton, Elizabeth M.; Hanken, James
Bones of the cranial vault appear to be highly conserved among tetrapod vertebrates. Moreover, bones identified with the same name are assumed to be evolutionarily homologous. However, recent developmental studies reveal a key difference in the embryonic origin of cranial vault bones between representatives of two amniote lineages, mammals and birds, thereby challenging this view. In the mouse, the frontal is derived from cranial neural crest (CNC) but the parietal is derived from mesoderm, placing the CNC-mesoderm boundary at the suture between these bones. In the chicken, this boundary is located within the frontal. This difference and related data have led several recent authors to suggest that bones of the avian cranial vault are misidentified and should be renamed. To elucidate this apparent conflict, we fate-mapped CNC and mesoderm in axolotl to reveal the contributions of these two embryonic cell populations to the cranial vault in a urodele amphibian. The CNC-mesoderm boundary in axolotl is located between the frontal and parietal bones, as in the mouse but unlike the chicken. If, however, the avian frontal is regarded instead as a fused frontal and parietal (i.e. frontoparietal) and the parietal as a postparietal, then the cranial vault of birds becomes developmentally and topologically congruent with those of urodeles and mammals. This alternative hypothesis of cranial vault homology is also phylogenetically consistent with data from the tetrapod fossil record, where frontal, parietal and postparietal bones are present in stem lineages of all extant taxa, including birds. It further implies that a postparietal may be present in most non-avian archosaurs, but fused to the parietal or supraoccipital as in many extant mammals.
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.
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.
Erler, Piril; Sweeney, Alexandra; Monaghan, James R
Some animals have the ability to generate large numbers of oocytes throughout life. This raises the question whether persistent adult germline stem cell populations drive continuous oogenesis and whether they are capable of mounting a regenerative response after injury. Here we demonstrate the presence of adult oogonial stem cells (OSCs) in the adult axolotl salamander ovary and show that ovarian injury induces OSC activation and functional regeneration of the ovaries to reproductive capability. Cells that have morphological similarities to germ cells were identified in the developing and adult ovaries via histological analysis. Genes involved in germ cell maintenance including Vasa, Oct4, Sox2, Nanog, Bmp15, Piwil1, Piwil2, Dazl, and Lhx8 were expressed in the presumptive OSCs. Colocalization of Vasa protein with H3 mitotic marker showed that both oogonial and spermatogonial adult stem cells were mitotically active. Providing evidence of stemness and viability of adult OSCs, enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) adult OSCs grafted into white juvenile host gonads gave rise to EGFP OSCs, and oocytes. Last, the axolotl ovaries completely regenerated after partial ovariectomy injury. During regeneration, OSC activation resulted in rapid differentiation into new oocytes, which was demonstrated by Vasa(+) /BrdU(+) coexpression. Furthermore, follicle cell proliferation promoted follicle maturation during ovarian regeneration. Overall, these results show that adult oogenesis occurs via proliferation of endogenous OSCs in a tetrapod and mediates ovarian regeneration. This study lays the foundations to elucidate mechanisms of ovarian regeneration that will assist regenerative medicine in treating premature ovarian failure and reduced fertility. Stem Cells 2017;35:236-247.
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.
Jones, J E; Corwin, J T
It has been proposed that supporting cells may be the progenitors of regenerated hair cells that contribute to recovery of hearing in birds, but regeneration is difficult to visualize in the ear, because it occurs deep in the skull. Hair cells and supporting cells that are comparable to those in the ear are present in lateral line neuromasts, and in axolotl salamanders these cells are accessible to microscopic observation in vivo. After amputation of a segment of the tail that contains neuromasts, cells from the posteriormost neuromast on the tail stump divide rapidly and form a migratory regenerative placode. The cells of the regenerative placode represent a lineage that eventually produces both hair cells and supporting cells in replacement neuromasts. We sought to identify the progenitors of the regenerative placode by using differential interference contrast microscopy combined with time-lapse video recording in living axolotl salamanders. In response to amputation, the mantle-type supporting cells at the posteroventral edge of the neuromast that is nearest to the wound increased their frequency of cell division, and gave rise to the first cells of the placode. The increase in mitotic activity of mantle-type supporting cells was accompanied by an unexplained decrease in the frequency of divisions in the same neuromast's population of internal supporting cells. The time-lapse records suggested that the changes in the mitotic activity of supporting cells might have been linked to the presence of phagocytic leukocytes in the vicinity of the neuromast that was nearest to the wound. Leukocytes were evenly distributed around control neuromasts, but during regeneration leukocyte activity increased significantly in the vicinity of the posterior half of the posteriormost neuromast. The redistribution of leukocytes occurred early in the regenerative response, but a causal role for the leukocytes has not been conclusively established. It is possible that the leukocytes
Taniguchi, Yuka; Kurth, Thomas; Medeiros, Daniel Meulemans; Tazaki, Akira; Ramm, Robert; Epperlein, Hans-Henning
Mesenchyme is an embryonic precursor tissue that generates a range of structures in vertebrates including cartilage, bone, muscle, kidney, and the erythropoietic system. Mesenchyme originates from both mesoderm and the neural crest, an ectodermal cell population, via an epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). Because ectodermal and mesodermal mesenchyme can form in close proximity and give rise to similar derivatives, the embryonic origin of many mesenchyme-derived tissues is still unclear. Recent work using genetic lineage tracing methods have upended classical ideas about the contributions of mesodermal mesenchyme and neural crest to particular structures. Using similar strategies in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), and the South African clawed toad (Xenopus laevis), we traced the origins of fin mesenchyme and tail muscle in amphibians. Here we present evidence that fin mesenchyme and striated tail muscle in both animals are derived solely from mesoderm and not from neural crest. In the context of recent work in zebrafish, our experiments suggest that trunk neural crest cells in the last common ancestor of tetrapods and ray-finned fish lacked the ability to form ectomesenchyme and its derivatives.
and it is furthermore a key player in the induction of these kidney generations. Whether the ureter participates in urine modification, remains to be elucidated. In amphibians the pronephros is a large organ, which is functional for a considerable time before it degenerates. The aim of this study was to investigate...... (Vm) was - 79 ± 11 mV (mean ± sd). Vm depolarized by 35 ± 8 mV (n = 21) upon a bath [K+] step from 3 to 20 mmol/l, demonstrating the presence of a large K+ conductance in the basolateral cell membrane. Luminal fluid exchange experiments in 4 cells revealed a depolarization of Vm in response to [K......+] 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...
Full Text Available Neuropeptide Y (NPY plays an important role in regulating appetite and hunger in vertebrates. In the hypothalamus, NPY stimulates food intake under the control of the nutritional status. Previous studies have shown the presence of NPY and receptors in rodent olfactory system, and suggested a neuroproliferative role. Interestingly, NPY was also shown to directly modulate olfactory responses evoked by a food-related odorant in hungry axolotls. We have recently demonstrated that another nutritional cue, insulin, modulates the odorant responses of the rat olfactory mucosa (OM. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the potential effect of NPY on rat OM responses to odorants, in relation to the animal's nutritional state. We measured the potential NPY modulation of OM responses to odorant, using electro-olfactogram (EOG recordings, in fed and fasted adult rats. NPY application significantly and transiently increased EOG amplitudes in fasted but not in fed rats. The effects of specific NPY-receptor agonists were similarly quantified, showing that NPY operated mainly through Y1 receptors. These receptors appeared as heterogeneously expressed by olfactory neurons in the OM, and western blot analysis showed that they were overexpressed in fasted rats. These data provide the first evidence that NPY modulates the initial events of odorant detection in the rat OM. Because this modulation depends on the nutritional status of the animal, and is ascribed to NPY, the most potent orexigenic peptide in the central nervous system, it evidences a strong supplementary physiological link between olfaction and nutritional processes.
Negroni, Julia; Meunier, Nicolas; Monnerie, Régine; Salesse, Roland; Baly, Christine; Caillol, Monique; Congar, Patrice
Neuropeptide Y (NPY) plays an important role in regulating appetite and hunger in vertebrates. In the hypothalamus, NPY stimulates food intake under the control of the nutritional status. Previous studies have shown the presence of NPY and receptors in rodent olfactory system, and suggested a neuroproliferative role. Interestingly, NPY was also shown to directly modulate olfactory responses evoked by a food-related odorant in hungry axolotls. We have recently demonstrated that another nutritional cue, insulin, modulates the odorant responses of the rat olfactory mucosa (OM). Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the potential effect of NPY on rat OM responses to odorants, in relation to the animal's nutritional state. We measured the potential NPY modulation of OM responses to odorant, using electro-olfactogram (EOG) recordings, in fed and fasted adult rats. NPY application significantly and transiently increased EOG amplitudes in fasted but not in fed rats. The effects of specific NPY-receptor agonists were similarly quantified, showing that NPY operated mainly through Y1 receptors. These receptors appeared as heterogeneously expressed by olfactory neurons in the OM, and western blot analysis showed that they were overexpressed in fasted rats. These data provide the first evidence that NPY modulates the initial events of odorant detection in the rat OM. Because this modulation depends on the nutritional status of the animal, and is ascribed to NPY, the most potent orexigenic peptide in the central nervous system, it evidences a strong supplementary physiological link between olfaction and nutritional processes.
Boss, V; Wigston, D J
The restoration of a normal pattern of neural connectivity following nerve injury depends upon the selective reinnervation of appropriate postsynaptic targets. Previous studies suggest that, in the neuromuscular system, recognition between regenerating motoneurons and target muscles depends upon the positions of origin of the motoneurons and muscles. In axolotls, portions of the motor pools of adjacent muscles overlap. We found that, following removal of a pair of adjacent hindlimb muscles, anterior and posterior iliotibialis, many regenerating iliotibialis motor axons invaded foreign muscles. A more anterior foreign muscle, puboischiofemoralis internus, received greater innervation from anterior iliotibialis motoneurons, whereas a more posterior muscle, iliofibularis, received greater innervation from posterior iliotibialis motoneurons. Furthermore, anterior iliotibialis motoneurons that reinnervated puboischiofemoralis internus occupied the rostral portion of anterior iliotibialis motor pool, which overlaps that of puboischiofemoralis internus. Anterior iliotibialis motoneurons that reinnervated iliofibularis occupied the caudal portion of the anterior iliotibialis motor pool, which overlaps that of iliofibularis. When both anterior and posterior iliotibialis were damaged so that their myofibers were permanently destroyed, the rostrocaudal origins of the motoneurons that reinnervated them were virtually the same, suggesting that the motoneurons had difficulty distinguishing between the myofiberless iliotibialis muscles. However, some iliotibialis motoneurons invaded puboischiofemoralis internus instead of their myofiberless targets. Puboischiofemoralis internus received more innervation from the anterior iliotibialis motoneurons than the positionally less appropriate posterior iliotibialis motoneurons. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that selective reinnervation of muscle depends upon a system of recognition cues based on position.
Page, Robert B; Monaghan, James R; Samuels, Amy K; Smith, Jeramiah J; Beachy, Christopher K; Voss, S Randal
Ambystomatid salamanders offer several advantages for endocrine disruption research, including genomic and bioinformatics resources, an accessible laboratory model (Ambystoma mexicanum), and natural lineages that are broadly distributed among North American habitats. We used microarray analysis to measure the relative abundance of transcripts isolated from A. mexicanum epidermis (skin) after exogenous application of thyroid hormone (TH). Only one gene had a >2-fold change in transcript abundance after 2 days of TH treatment. However, hundreds of genes showed significantly different transcript levels at days 12 and 28 in comparison to day 0. A list of 123 TH-responsive genes was identified using statistical, BLAST, and fold level criteria. Cluster analysis identified two groups of genes with similar transcription patterns: up-regulated versus down-regulated. Most notably, several keratins exhibited dramatic (1000 fold) increases or decreases in transcript abundance. Keratin gene expression changes coincided with morphological remodeling of epithelial tissues. This suggests that keratin loci can be developed as sensitive biomarkers to assay temporal disruptions of larval-to-adult gene expression programs. Our study has identified the first collection of loci that are regulated during TH-induced metamorphosis in a salamander, thus setting the stage for future investigations of TH disruption in the Mexican axolotl and other salamanders of the genus Ambystoma.
Wistuba, Joachim; Ehmcke, Jens; Clemen, Günter
Prerequisites of tooth formation, cell proliferation in the tooth-forming tissues, calcium accumulation and the enzymatic activities of alkaline (ALP) and acid phosphatases (ACP) were investigated by immunohistochemical and histochemical methods in various developmental stages of the Mexican Axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum. During the growth of replacement teeth, the tooth-forming tissues continually recruit cells from the surrounding regions. The basal layer of the oral epithelium, the dental lamina and sometimes even the outer enamel epithelium provide cells for the differentiated inner enamel epithelium, in which the active ameloblasts are localized. The differentiating odontoblasts are derived from proliferating cells situated basally to the replacement teeth in the mesenchymal tissue. When differentiation has started and the cells have become functional, proliferative activity can no longer be observed. Calcium is accumulated close to the site of mineralization in the inner enamel epithelium and in the odontoblasts as it is in mammals, elasmobranchii and teleostei. The activities of ACP and ALP related to the mineralization of the replacement teeth are separated spatially and not sequentially as they are in mammals. However, the results indicate a similar function of these enzymatic components in relation to tooth formation and maturation of mineral deposition. Most of the substantial processes related to tooth formation reported from other vertebrates occur in a manner similar to that in Ambystoma mexicanum, but there also seem to be basic mechanisms present that are realised in a unique way in this urodele.
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)
Jia, P; Zhang, C; Huang, X P; Poda, M; Akbas, F; Lemanski, S L; Erginel-Unaltuna, N; Lemanski, L F
The discovery of the naturally occurring cardiac non-function (c) animal strain in Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl) provides a valuable animal model to study cardiomyocyte differentiation. In homozygous mutant animals (c/c), rhythmic contractions of the embryonic heart are absent due to a lack of organized myofibrils. We have previously cloned a partial sequence of a peptide cDNA (N1) from an anterior-endoderm-conditioned-medium RNA library that had been shown to be able to rescue the mutant phenotype. In the current studies we have fully cloned the N1 full length cDNA sequence from the library. N1 protein has been detected in both adult heart and skeletal muscle but not in any other adult tissues. GFP-tagged expression of the N1 protein has revealed localization of the N1 protein in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Results from in situ hybridization experiments have confirmed the dramatic decrease of expression of N1 mRNA in mutant (c/c) embryos indicating that the N1 gene is involved in heart development.
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.
Keinath, Melissa C; Timoshevskiy, Vladimir A; Timoshevskaya, Nataliya Y; Tsonis, Panagiotis A; Voss, S Randal; Smith, Jeramiah J
Vertebrates exhibit substantial diversity in genome size, and some of the largest genomes exist in species that uniquely inform diverse areas of basic and biomedical research. For example, the salamander Ambystoma mexicanum (the Mexican axolotl) is a model organism for studies of regeneration, development and genome evolution, yet its genome is ~10× larger than the human genome. As part of a hierarchical approach toward improving genome resources for the species, we generated 600 Gb of shotgun sequence data and developed methods for sequencing individual laser-captured chromosomes. Based on these data, we estimate that the A. mexicanum genome is ~32 Gb. Notably, as much as 19 Gb of the A. mexicanum genome can potentially be considered single copy, which presumably reflects the evolutionary diversification of mobile elements that accumulated during an ancient episode of genome expansion. Chromosome-targeted sequencing permitted the development of assemblies within the constraints of modern computational platforms, allowed us to place 2062 genes on the two smallest A. mexicanum chromosomes and resolves key events in the history of vertebrate genome evolution. Our analyses show that the capture and sequencing of individual chromosomes is likely to provide valuable information for the systematic sequencing, assembly and scaffolding of large genomes.
Chen, Xiaoguang; Brodland, G. Wayne
The novel multi-scale computational approach introduced here makes possible a new means for testing hypotheses about the forces that drive specific morphogenetic movements. A 3D model based on this approach is used to investigate neurulation in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), a type of amphibian. The model is based on geometric data from 3D surface reconstructions of live embryos and from serial sections. Tissue properties are described by a system of cell-based constitutive equations, and parameters in the equations are determined from physical tests. The model includes the effects of Shroom-activated neural ridge reshaping and lamellipodium-driven convergent extension. A typical whole-embryo model consists of 10 239 elements and to run its 100 incremental time steps requires 2 days. The model shows that a normal phenotype does not result if lamellipodium forces are uniform across the width of the neural plate; but it can result if the lamellipodium forces decrease from a maximum value at the mid-sagittal plane to zero at the plate edge. Even the seemingly simple motions of neurulation are found to contain important features that would remain hidden, they were not studied using an advanced computational model. The present model operates in a setting where data are extremely sparse and an important outcome of the study is a better understanding of the role of computational models in such environments.
Sammarco, Mimi C; Simkin, Jennifer; Cammack, Alexander J; Fassler, Danielle; Gossmann, Alexej; Marrero, Luis; Lacey, Michelle; Van Meter, Keith; Muneoka, Ken
Oxygen is critical for optimal bone regeneration. While axolotls and salamanders have retained the ability to regenerate whole limbs, mammalian regeneration is restricted to the distal tip of the digit (P3) in mice, primates, and humans. Our previous study revealed the oxygen microenvironment during regeneration is dynamic and temporally influential in building and degrading bone. Given that regeneration is dependent on a dynamic and changing oxygen environment, a better understanding of the effects of oxygen during wounding, scarring, and regeneration, and better ways to artificially generate both hypoxic and oxygen replete microenvironments are essential to promote regeneration beyond wounding or scarring. To explore the influence of increased oxygen on digit regeneration in vivo daily treatments of hyperbaric oxygen were administered to mice during all phases of the entire regenerative process. Micro-Computed Tomography (μCT) and histological analysis showed that the daily application of hyperbaric oxygen elicited the same enhanced bone degradation response as two individual pulses of oxygen applied during the blastema phase. We expand past these findings to show histologically that the continuous application of hyperbaric oxygen during digit regeneration results in delayed blastema formation at a much more proximal location after amputation, and the deposition of better organized collagen fibers during bone formation. The application of sustained hyperbaric oxygen also delays wound closure and enhances bone degradation after digit amputation. Thus, hyperbaric oxygen shows the potential for positive influential control on the various phases of an epimorphic regenerative response.
Mu, Xiaodong; Bellayr, Ian; Pan, Haiying; Choi, Yohan; Li, Yong
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.
Mimi C Sammarco
Full Text Available Oxygen is critical for optimal bone regeneration. While axolotls and salamanders have retained the ability to regenerate whole limbs, mammalian regeneration is restricted to the distal tip of the digit (P3 in mice, primates, and humans. Our previous study revealed the oxygen microenvironment during regeneration is dynamic and temporally influential in building and degrading bone. Given that regeneration is dependent on a dynamic and changing oxygen environment, a better understanding of the effects of oxygen during wounding, scarring, and regeneration, and better ways to artificially generate both hypoxic and oxygen replete microenvironments are essential to promote regeneration beyond wounding or scarring. To explore the influence of increased oxygen on digit regeneration in vivo daily treatments of hyperbaric oxygen were administered to mice during all phases of the entire regenerative process. Micro-Computed Tomography (μCT and histological analysis showed that the daily application of hyperbaric oxygen elicited the same enhanced bone degradation response as two individual pulses of oxygen applied during the blastema phase. We expand past these findings to show histologically that the continuous application of hyperbaric oxygen during digit regeneration results in delayed blastema formation at a much more proximal location after amputation, and the deposition of better organized collagen fibers during bone formation. The application of sustained hyperbaric oxygen also delays wound closure and enhances bone degradation after digit amputation. Thus, hyperbaric oxygen shows the potential for positive influential control on the various phases of an epimorphic regenerative response.
Page, Robert B; Boley, Meredith A; Kump, David K; Voss, Stephen R
Very little is known about genetic factors that regulate life history transitions during ontogeny. Closely related tiger salamanders (Ambystoma species complex) show extreme variation in metamorphic timing, with some species foregoing metamorphosis altogether, an adaptive trait called paedomorphosis. Previous studies identified a major effect quantitative trait locus (met1) for metamorphic timing and expression of paedomorphosis in hybrid crosses between the biphasic Eastern tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum tigrinum) and the paedomorphic Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). We used existing hybrid mapping panels and a newly created hybrid cross to map the met1 genomic region and determine the effect of met1 on larval growth, metamorphic timing, and gene expression in the brain. We show that met1 maps to the position of a urodele-specific chromosome rearrangement on linkage group 2 that uniquely brought functionally associated genes into linkage. Furthermore, we found that more than 200 genes were differentially expressed during larval development as a function of met1 genotype. This list of differentially expressed genes is enriched for proteins that function in the mitochondria, providing evidence of a link between met1, thyroid hormone signaling, and mitochondrial energetics associated with metamorphosis. Finally, we found that met1 significantly affected metamorphic timing in hybrids, but not early larval growth rate. Collectively, our results show that met1 regulates species and morph-specific patterns of brain transcription and life history variation.
Soto, E; Chávez, H; Valli, P; Benvenuti, C; Vega, R
Betahistine has been used to treat several vestibular disorders of both central and peripheral origin. The objective of this work was to study the action of betahistine in the vestibular endorgans. Experiments were done in wild larval axolotl (Ambystoma tigrinum). Multiunit extracellular recordings were obtained from the semicircular canal nerve using a suction electrode. Betahistine (10 microM to 10 mM; n = 32) inhibited the basal spike discharge of the vestibular afferent neurons with an IC50 of 600 microM. To define the site of action of betahistine, its interactions with the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor NG-nitro-L-arginine (3 microM) and with the cholinergic antagonists atropine (10 microM; n = 3) and d-tubocurarine (10 microM; n = 3) were studied. The action of betahistine when co-administered with these drugs was the same as that in control experiments, indicating that its effects did not include nitric oxide production or the activation of cholinergic receptors. In contrast, 0.01-1 mM betahistine reduced the excitatory action of kainic acid (10 microM; n = 6) and quiscualic acid (1 microM; n = 13). These results indicate that the action of betahistine on the spike discharge of afferent neurons seems to be due to a post-synaptic inhibitory action on the primary afferent neuron response to the hair cell neurotransmitter.
Arthur, L Matthew; 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 p21(Cip1/Waf1) was missing from the MRL mouse ear and that a p21-null mouse could close its ear holes. Given the p53/p21 axis of control of DNA damage, cell cycle arrest, apoptosis and senescence, we tested the role of p53 in the ear hole regenerative response. Using backcross mice, we found that loss of p53 in MRL mice did not show reduced healing. Furthermore, cross sections of MRL. p53(-/-) mouse ears at 6 weeks post-injury showed an increased level of adipocytes and chondrocytes in the region of healing whereas MRL or p21(-/-) mice showed chondrogenesis alone in this same region, though at later time points. In addition, we also investigated other cell cycle-related mutant mice to determine how p21 was being regulated. We demonstrate that p16 and Gadd45 null mice show little healing capacity. Interestingly, a partial healing phenotype in mice with a dual Tgfβ/Rag2 knockout mutation was seen. These data demonstrate an independence of p53 signaling for mouse appendage regeneration and suggest that the role of p21 in this process is possibly through the abrogation of the Tgfβ/Smad pathway.
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.
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.
McCauley, David W.; Bronner-Fraser, Marianne
The neural crest is a vertebrate-specific cell population that contributes to the facial skeleton and other derivatives. We have performed focal DiI injection into the cranial neural tube of the developing lamprey in order to follow the migratory pathways of discrete groups of cells from origin to destination and to compare neural crest migratory pathways in a basal vertebrate to those of gnathostomes. The results show that the general pathways of cranial neural crest migration are conserved throughout the vertebrates, with cells migrating in streams analogous to the mandibular and hyoid streams. Caudal branchial neural crest cells migrate ventrally as a sheet of cells from the hindbrain and super-pharyngeal region of the neural tube and form a cylinder surrounding a core of mesoderm in each pharyngeal arch, similar to that seen in zebrafish and axolotl. In addition to these similarities, we also uncovered important differences. Migration into the presumptive caudal branchial arches of the lamprey involves both rostral and caudal movements of neural crest cells that have not been described in gnathostomes, suggesting that barriers that constrain rostrocaudal movement of cranial neural crest cells may have arisen after the agnathan/gnathostome split. Accordingly, neural crest cells from a single axial level contributed to multiple arches and there was extensive mixing between populations. There was no apparent filling of neural crest derivatives in a ventral-to-dorsal order, as has been observed in higher vertebrates, nor did we find evidence of a neural crest contribution to cranial sensory ganglia. These results suggest that migratory constraints and additional neural crest derivatives arose later in gnathostome evolution.
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.
Chávez, H; Vega, R; Valli, P; Mira, E; Benvenuti, C; Guth, P S; Soto, E
Betahistine has been used to treat several vestibular disorders of both central and peripheral origin. The objective of this work was to study the betahistine action mechanism at the vestibular end organs. Experiments were carried out in wild larval axolotl (Ambystoma tigrinum). Multiunit extracellular recordings were obtained from the semicircular canal nerve using a suction electrode. Betahistine (10 microM to 10 mM, n = 32) inhibited the basal spike discharge of the vestibular afferent neurons with an IC50 of 600 microM. To define the site of action of betahistine, its interactions with antagonists of nitric oxide sintethizing enzyme, cholinergic drugs, and excitatory amino acids were studied. Betahistine 1 mM (n = 5) was coadministered with NG-nitro-L-arginine 3 microM. The action of betahistine remained as in control experiments. Betahistine 1 mM reduced the excitatory action of carbachol (200 microM, n = 5) in a 30 +/- 3.4%. Cholinergic antagonists atropine (10 microM, n = 3) and d-tubocurarine (10 microM, n = 3) did not modify betahistine actions. Betahistine 1 mM also reduced kainic acid (10 microM, n = 4) excitatory action in 45.5 +/- 9.8%. These results corroborate that betahistine has a peripheral inhibitory action in the spike discharge of the afferent neurons in the vestibule. This action seems to involve neither NO production nor modifications in the release of acetylcholine from the efferent fibers. The inhibitory action of betahistine seems to be due to a postsynaptic binding site on the afferent neurons.
crest development in the Mexican axolotl, in collaboration with his student Sven Sellman. Hörstadius was the great experimentalist, but did not develop speculative hypotheses the way Jägersten did. The very different styles of scientific research might have played a role also in the development of the personal difficulties that existed for a long time between the two professors.
Benjamin L King
Full Text Available 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.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.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 for future
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
Schmidt, Jennifer; Piekarski, Nadine; Olsson, Lennart
Our research on the evolution of the vertebrate head focuses on understanding the developmental origins of morphological novelties. Using a broad comparative approach in amphibians, and comparisons with the well-studied quail-chicken system, we investigate how evolutionarily conserved or variable different aspects of head development are. Here we review research on the often overlooked development of cranial muscles, and on its dependence on cranial cartilage development. In general, cranial muscle cell migration and the spatiotemporal pattern of cranial muscle formation appears to be very conserved among the few species of vertebrates that have been studied. However, fate-mapping of somites in the Mexican axolotl revealed differences in the specific formation of hypobranchial muscles (tongue muscles) in comparison to the chicken. The proper development of cranial muscles has been shown to be strongly dependent on the mostly neural crest-derived cartilage elements in the larval head of amphibians. For example, a morpholino-based knock-down of the transcription factor FoxN3 in Xenopus laevis has drastic indirect effects on cranial muscle patterning, although the direct function of the gene is mostly connected to neural crest development. Furthermore, extirpation of single migratory streams of cranial neural crest cells in combination with fate-mapping in a frog shows that individual cranial muscles and their neural crest-derived connective tissue attachments originate from the same visceral arch, even when the muscles attach to skeletal components that are derived from a different arch. The same pattern has also been found in the chicken embryo, the only other species that has been thoroughly investigated, and thus might be a conserved pattern in vertebrates that reflects the fundamental nature of a mechanism that keeps the segmental order of the head in place despite drastic changes in adult anatomy. There is a need for detailed comparative fate-mapping of pre
金福厚; 庞岩; 李士泽; 杨焕民; 计红; 赵巧香; 尹位
冷诱导RNA结合蛋白(Cold inducible RNA-binding protein,CIRP)在多种冷应激细胞(包括重组中国仓鼠卵巢细胞)中被发现.迄今为止,冷应激对活体生物基凶表达的影响还未见报道.和细胞相比,生物体具有更加复杂的冷应激调节机制.本研究以冷处理的BALB/C鼠为实验动物,从其睾丸组织巾克隆出了CIRP的cDNA.结果表明,CIRP在生物体中能够被低温诱导,可能防止生物体遭受冷损伤.根据克隆的cDNA所推测的氨基酸序列与GenBank上公布的小鼠、大鼠、人类、牛蛙、美西螈、非洲爪蟾胚胎细胞和卵母细胞的CIRP氨基酸序列同源性分别为100%、99.40%、95.5%、67.4%、58.4%、76.9%和79.1%.这表明CIRP在生物进化过程中是高度保守的,可能具有多种生理功能.因此,这一研究将为探索人类和动物冷应激分子机制创立系统试验模型和奠定新的实践基础.图5参14%The cold-inducible RNA-binding protein (CIRP) was found in various cells including recombinant Chinese hamster ovary (rCHO) cells under cold stress. However, the effect of cold stress on the gene expression of the intravital animals has not been reported till now. Compared with their cells, there were much more complicated regulatory mechanisms for cold stress response in the organisms. The BALB/C mice with cold treatment were used as experimental animals for this study. The cDNA of CIRP was firstly cloned from the testis tissues of the BALB/C mice treated by cold stress. The results indicated that CIRP in the organisms could be induced at low temperature and might protect the organisms from the cold damage. The amino acid sequences deduced via cDNA clone were 100%, 99.4%, 95.5%, 67.4%, 58.4%,76.9%, and 79.1% identical to those of the CIRP in mice, rats, human, bullfrog and axolotl cells, and Xenopus embryos and oocytes, respectively. These results show that the CIRP is highly conserved in the evolution process and may be involved in various