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)
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.
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.
Makanae, Aki; Satoh, Akira
Amphibian limb regeneration has been studied for a long time. In amphibian limb regeneration, an undifferentiated blastema is formed around the region damaged by amputation. The induction process of blastema formation has remained largely unknown because it is difficult to study the induction of limb regeneration. The recently developed accessory limb model (ALM) allows the investigation of limb induction and reveals early events of amphibian limb regeneration. The interaction between nerves and wound epidermis/epithelium is an important aspect of limb regeneration. During early limb regeneration, neurotrophic factors act on wound epithelium, leading to development of a functional epidermis/epithelium called the apical epithelial cap (AEC). AEC and nerves create a specific environment that inhibits wound healing and induces regeneration through blastema formation. It is suggested that FGF-signaling and MMP activities participate in creating a regenerative environment. To understand why urodele amphibians can create such a regenerative environment and humans cannot, it is necessary to identify the similarities and differences between regenerative and nonregenerative animals. Here we focus on ALM to consider limb regeneration from a new perspective and we also reported that focal adhesion kinase (FAK)-Src signaling controlled fibroblasts migration in axolotl limb regeneration. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Holder, N.; Clarke, J.D.; Stephens, N.; Wilson, S.W.; Orsi, C.; Bloomer, T.; Tonge, D.A.
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
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.
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.
Wischin, Sabina; Castañeda-Patlán, Cristina; Robles-Flores, Martha; Chimal-Monroy, Jesús
Limb amputation in axolotls was performed to obtain data demonstrating that a chemical agonist of Wnt (int-related protein)/β-catenin signalling can have a role in axolotl limb regeneration (Wischin et al., 2017) . The data revealed that active β-catenin protein was present during limb regeneration in some Leydig cells in the epithelium; after the chemical treatment, it was observed in more Leydig cells. In addition, the chemical agonist of Wnt generated distinct limb malformation.
Demircan, Turan; İlhan, Ayşe Elif; Aytürk, Nilüfer; Yıldırım, Berna; Öztürk, Gürkan; Keskin, İlknur
Axolotl (Ambystoma Mexicanum) has been emerging as a promising model in stem cell and regeneration researches due to its exceptional regenerative capacity. Although it represents lifelong lasting neoteny, induction to metamorphosis with thyroid hormones (THs) treatment advances the utilization of Axolotl in various studies. It has been reported that amphibians undergo anatomical and histological remodeling during metamorphosis and this transformation is crucial for adaptation to terrestrial conditions. However, there is no comprehensive histological investigation regarding the morphological alterations of Axolotl organs and tissues throughout the metamorphosis. Here, we reveal the histological differences or resemblances between the neotenic and metamorphic axolotl tissues. In order to examine structural features and cellular organization of Axolotl organs, we performed Hematoxylin & Eosin, Luxol-Fast blue, Masson's trichrome, Alcian blue, Orcein and Weigart's staining. Stained samples from brain, gallbladder, heart, intestine, liver, lung, muscle, skin, spleen, stomach, tail, tongue and vessel were analyzed under the light microscope. Our findings contribute to the validation of the link between newly acquired functions and structural changes of tissues and organs as observed in tail, skin, gallbladder and spleen. We believe that this descriptive work provides new insights for a better histological understanding of both neotenic and metamorphic Axolotl tissues. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
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
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.
Ellen A. G. Chernoff
Full Text Available The differentiated state of spinal cord ependymal cells in regeneration-competent amphibians varies between a constitutively active state in what is essentially a developing organism, the tadpole of the frog Xenopus laevis, and a quiescent, activatable state in a slowly growing adult salamander Ambystoma mexicanum, the Axolotl. Ependymal cells are epithelial in intact spinal cord of all vertebrates. After transection, body region ependymal epithelium in both Xenopus and the Axolotl disorganizes for regenerative outgrowth (gap replacement. Injury-reactive ependymal cells serve as a stem/progenitor cell population in regeneration and reconstruct the central canal. Expression patterns of mRNA and protein for the stem/progenitor cell-maintenance Notch signaling pathway mRNA-binding protein Musashi (msi change with life stage and regeneration competence. Msi-1 is missing (immunohistochemistry, or at very low levels (polymerase chain reaction, PCR, in both intact regeneration-competent adult Axolotl cord and intact non-regeneration-competent Xenopus tadpole (Nieuwkoop and Faber stage 62+, NF 62+. The critical correlation for successful regeneration is msi-1 expression/upregulation after injury in the ependymal outgrowth and stump-region ependymal cells. msi-1 and msi-2 isoforms were cloned for the Axolotl as well as previously unknown isoforms of Xenopus msi-2. Intact Xenopus spinal cord ependymal cells show a loss of msi-1 expression between regeneration-competent (NF 50–53 and non-regenerating stages (NF 62+ and in post-metamorphosis froglets, while msi-2 displays a lower molecular weight isoform in non-regenerating cord. In the Axolotl, embryos and juveniles maintain Msi-1 expression in the intact cord. In the adult Axolotl, Msi-1 is absent, but upregulates after injury. Msi-2 levels are more variable among Axolotl life stages: rising between late tailbud embryos and juveniles and decreasing in adult cord. Cultures of regeneration
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.
Phan, Anne Quy
Salamanders are unique among adult vertebrates in their ability to regenerate complex body structures after traumatic injury. Axolotl limb regeneration is a stepwise sequence of three requisite processes: (1) scarless wound healing to generate a regenerative wound epithelium, (2) blastema formation by migration, proliferation and dedifferentiation to create a mass of multipotent regeneration-competent progenitor cells, and (3) induction of pattern formation by interaction of cells with opposi...
Zhu, Wei; Pao, Gerald M; Satoh, Akira; Cummings, Gillian; Monaghan, James R; Harkins, Timothy T; Bryant, Susan V; Voss, S Randal; 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 ce...
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.
Sousounis, Konstantinos; Athippozhy, Antony T.; Voss, S. Randal
Abstract Mexican axolotls lose potential for lens regeneration 2 weeks after hatching. We used microarrays to identify differently expressed genes before and after this critical time, using RNA isolated from iris. Over 3700 genes were identified as differentially expressed in response to lentectomy between young (7 days post‐hatching) and old (3 months post‐hatching) axolotl larvae. Strikingly, many of the genes were only expressed in the early or late iris. Genes that were highly expressed in young iris significantly enriched electron transport chain, transcription, metabolism, and cell cycle gene ontologies, all of which are associated with lens regeneration. In contrast, genes associated with cellular differentiation and tissue maturation were uniquely expressed in old iris. Many of these expression differences strongly suggest that young and old iris samples were collected before and after the spleen became developmentally competent to produce and secrete cells with humoral and innate immunity functions. Our study establishes the axolotl as a powerful model to investigate age‐related cellular differentiation and immune system ontogeny within the context of tissue regeneration. PMID:27499863
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. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
Thygesen, Mathias; Rasmussen, Mikkel Mylius; Madsen, Jesper Guldsmed
The Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is an important model species in regenerative biology. Traditionally, axolotls are anesthetized using benzocaine or MS-222, both of which act to inhibit voltage gated sodium channels thereby preventing action potential propagation. In some neurophysiologi......The Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is an important model species in regenerative biology. Traditionally, axolotls are anesthetized using benzocaine or MS-222, both of which act to inhibit voltage gated sodium channels thereby preventing action potential propagation. In some...... neurophysiological experiments this is not desirable; therefore we tested propofol as an alternative anesthetic in the axolotl. We evaluated benzocaine, MS-222, and propofol's cardiovascular effects, effects on action potential propagation in the spinal cord, and gross limb regenerative effects. We found...
Denis, Jean-François; Lévesque, Mathieu; Tran, Simon D; Camarda, Aldo-Joseph; Roy, Stéphane
The skin is our largest organ, with the primary role of protection against assaults from the outside world. It also suffers frequent damage, from minor scrapes to, more rarely, complete destruction such as in third-degree burns. It is therefore, by its nature, an organ that would benefit tremendously from being able to regenerate itself. This review highlights the axolotl, a less well-known model organism capable of scarless wound healing and regeneration. Axolotls are salamanders with unsurpassed healing and regenerative capacities. Understanding how these animals can regenerate their tissues could help identify the pathways that need to be activated or inhibited in humans to improve wound healing. Presently, there are no therapies leading to skin regeneration or scarless wound healing. Various animal models have thus been developed for use in research, such as mice and pigs, to help us understand how wound healing could be improved or stimulated. However, these more common models cannot regenerate and, consequently, cannot direct us toward a solution to regenerate damaged tissues. Axolotls, on the other hand, can regenerate perfectly and therefore may offer avenues to identify molecular targets for therapeutic intervention. Identifying signaling pathways regulating tissue regeneration in vertebrate models is important. The use of animals such as axolotls, which hold the secret of full regeneration, will likely play a significant role in helping us achieve scarless wound healing for humans.
Wischin, Sabina; Castañeda-Patlán, Cristina; Robles-Flores, Martha; Chimal-Monroy, Jesús
Limb regeneration involves several interrelated physiological processes in which a particular signalling pathway may play a variety of functions. Blocking the function of Wnt/β-catenin signalling during limb regeneration inhibits regeneration in axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum). Limb development shares many features with limb regeneration, and Wnt/β-catenin activation has different effects depending on the developmental stage. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether Wnt/β-catenin signalling activation during axolotl limb regeneration has different effects when activated at different stages of regeneration. To evaluate this hypothesis, we treated amputated axolotls with a Wnt agonist chemical at different stages of limb regeneration. The results showed that limb regeneration was inhibited when the treatment began before blastema formation. Under these conditions, blastema formation was hindered, possibly due to the lack of innervation. On the other hand, when axolotls were treated after blastema formation and immediately before the onset of morphogenesis, we observed structural disorganization in skeletal formation. In conclusion, we found that limb regeneration was differentially affected depending on the stage at which the Wnt signalling pathway was activated. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
McCusker, Catherine; Bryant, Susan V.
Abstract The axolotl is one of the few tetrapods that are capable of regenerating complicated biological structures, such as complete limbs, throughout adulthood. Upon injury the axolotl generates a population of regeneration‐competent limb progenitor cells known as the blastema, which will grow, establish pattern, and differentiate into the missing limb structures. In this review we focus on the crucial early events that occur during wound healing, the neural−epithelial interactions that drive the formation of the early blastema, and how these mechanisms differ from those of other species that have restricted regenerative potential, such as humans. We also discuss how the presence of cells from the different axes of the limb is required for the continued growth and establishment of pattern in the blastema as described in the polar coordinate model, and how this positional information is reprogrammed in blastema cells during regeneration. Multiple cell types from the mature limb stump contribute to the blastema at different stages of regeneration, and we discuss the contribution of these types to the regenerate with reference to whether they are “pattern‐forming” or “pattern‐following” cells. Lastly, we explain how an engineering approach will help resolve unanswered questions in limb regeneration, with the goal of translating these concepts to developing better human regenerative therapies. PMID:27499868
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.
Hansen, Kasper; Lauridsen, Henrik; Pedersen, Michael
of stem cells), that proliferate and regenerate lost tissue completely without scar formation. The objective of this study was to evaluate if the positive effect of HBOT in wound healing translates to whole limb regeneration in a non-necrotic environment. The effect of two different constitutive HBOT......, whereas HBOT2 were pressurized in gaseous oxygen with 100% relative humidity. Control animals were exposed to normobaric conditions in water. Regeneration rate was evaluated as the increasing length of the regenerating appendage. Animals were kept at 20°C at all times. Results: Due to a group n = 2......: This pilot study revealed no effect of 80 days constitutive HBOT in a regeneration-competent species, suggesting that HBOT has minor consequences on tissue regeneration in a non-necrotic environment. Keywords: whole limb regeneration, amphibian, Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), HBOT...
Busse, U; Séguin, C
To analyze Wnt-1 expression during neurulation in urodele embryos, we have isolated a Wnt-1 cDNA clone, Awnt-1, from an Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl) neurula-stage cDNA library. Awnt-1 codes for a protein of 369 amino acids rich in cysteine residues, is preceded by a hydrophobic leader peptide sequence and contains four possible sites for N-linked glycosylation. The temporal expression profile of Awnt-1 was analyzed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Awnt-1 expression in the axolotl embryo is biphasic. Awnt-1 transcripts are found in early blastulae until gastrulation, are barely detectable during gastrulation, and are present again from neurulation until late embryogenesis. Transcripts are present before the midblastula transition, indicating that they might be of maternal origin. To localize Awnt-1 expression in embryos during the first phase of expression, early gastrulae were dissected by cutting along the animal-vegetal and future dorso-ventral axes and analyzed by RT-PCR. At the early gastrula stage Awnt-1 transcripts appear to be located in the future ventral region of the embryo. Hatching larvae no longer express Awnt-1. PCR reactions performed using cDNA library-phage DNA templates derived from whole neurulae versus embryos with the neuroectoderm removed suggest that, in the neurula, Awnt-1 transcripts are located in the neuroectoderm. This suggest that, as is the case for Wnt-1 in other vertebrates, Awnt-1 may be involved in neurogenesis. These results suggest that Wnt-1 has earlier roles in development than has been considered until now.
Lauridsen, Henrik; Foldager, Casper; Hansen, Line
Non-invasive methods to track the progress of stem cell therapies are important in the development of future regenerative therapies. Super-paramagnetic iron oxide particles (SPIOs) have previously been applied to track cells using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in vivo in non-regenerative animal...... models. In this study we test for the first time the feasibility of tracking SPIO labeled cells in an intrinsic regenerative environment, the regenerating limb of the axolotl, and investigate the homing of stem cell like blastema cells to the regenerative zone. Viability and labeling success of labeled...... axolotl blastema cells was tested in vitro using cell culture and histology. SPIO labeling was performed in situ by intramuscular injections and mapped using MRI. Enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect was evaluated in the blastema, liver, heart, kidney and a back muscle. Finally, SPIO...
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.
Zhu, Wei; Pao, Gerald M; Satoh, Akira; Cummings, Gillian; Monaghan, James R; Harkins, Timothy T; Bryant, Susan V; Voss, S Randal; 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. PMID:22841627
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.
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.
Haugan, Birgitte M; Halberg, Kenneth Agerlin; Jespersen, Åse
+ 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...... 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...
Lauridsen, Henrik; Foldager, Casper Bindzus; Hagensen, Mette
displayed no significant effect on the rate of regeneration. Discussion: SPIO labelling for MRI cell tracking has shown promising results for regenerative therapies using stem cells. This study contributes to broaden the potential of SPIOs to track regenerating tissue in an inherently regenerative model......, facilitating the use of SPIOs in future chemically or genetically induced regenerative therapies. In addition, this study concludes that SPIO labelling and MRI tracking of axolotl stem cells allow for non-invasive longitudinal studies in this model, increasing the potential to draw knowledge from......Introduction: Regeneration is a widespread phenomenon functioning to maintain and restore normal form and function of cells, tissues, and in some cases organs or appendages. While mammals like mice and rats are typically employed as experimental models in regenerative research, these animals...
Stamm, Anne; Strauß, Sarah; Vogt, Peter; Scheper, Thomas; Pepelanova, Iliyana
AmbLOXe is a lipoxygenase, which is up-regulated during limb-redevelopment in the Mexican axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, an animal with remarkable regeneration capacity. Previous studies have shown that mammalian cells transformed with the gene of this epidermal lipoxygenase display faster migration and wound closure rate during in vitro wound healing experiments. In this study, the gene of AmbLOXe was codon-optimized for expression in Escherichia coli and was produced in the insoluble fraction as protein aggregates. These inclusion bodies or nanopills were shown to be reservoirs containing functional protein during in vitro wound healing assays. For this purpose, functional inclusion bodies were used to coat cell culture surfaces prior cell seeding or were added directly to the medium after cells reached confluence. In both scenarios, AmbLOXe inclusion bodies led to faster migration rate and wound closure, in comparison to controls containing either no AmbLOXe or GFP inclusion bodies. Our results demonstrate that AmbLOXe inclusion bodies are functional and may serve as stable reservoirs of this enzyme. Nevertheless, further studies with soluble enzyme are also necessary in order to start elucidating the exact molecular substrates of AmbLOXe and the biochemical pathways involved in the wound healing effect.
Full Text Available Although in recent years the study of gene expression variation in the absence of genetic or environmental cues or gene expression heterogeneity has intensified considerably, many basic and applied biological fields still remain unaware of how useful the study of gene expression heterogeneity patterns might be for the characterization of biological systems and/or processes. Largely based on the modulator effect chromatin compaction has for gene expression heterogeneity and the extensive changes in chromatin compaction known to occur for specialized cells that are naturally or artificially induced to revert to less specialized states or dedifferentiate, I recently hypothesized that processes that concur with cell dedifferentiation would show an extensive reduction in gene expression heterogeneity. The confirmation of the existence of such trend could be of wide interest because of the biomedical and biotechnological relevance of cell dedifferentiation-based processes, i.e., regenerative development, cancer, human induced pluripotent stem cells, or plant somatic embryogenesis. Here, I report the first empirical evidence consistent with the existence of an extensive reduction in gene expression heterogeneity for processes that concur with cell dedifferentiation by analyzing transcriptome dynamics along forearm regenerative development in Ambystoma mexicanum or axolotl. Also, I briefly discuss on the utility of the study of gene expression heterogeneity dynamics might have for the characterization of cell dedifferentiation-based processes, and the engineering of tools that afforded better monitoring and modulating such processes. Finally, I reflect on how a transitional reduction in gene expression heterogeneity for dedifferentiated cells can promote a long-term increase in phenotypic heterogeneity following cell dedifferentiation with potential adverse effects for biomedical and biotechnological applications.
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
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. PMID:26098852
Busse, U; Séguin, C
To characterize molecular interactions between cells in the early amphibian embryo, we have isolated cDNAs for two members of the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) Wnt family, Awnt-5A and Awnt-5B. The encoded proteins share 83% amino acid identity. Using a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay, we find that Awnt-5A transcripts are abundant in the blastula until gastrulation, barely detectable during gastrulation, and increase again during neurulation. They are detected throughout the remaining development and in hatched larvae. In contrast, transcripts for Awnt-5B are undetectable in the blastula. They appear with gastrulation, are present throughout neurulation and organogenesis, and decrease to barely detectable levels in hatched larvae. PCR reactions performed using cDNA library-phage DNA templates derived from whole neurulae versus embryos with the neuroectoderm removed suggest that, in the neurula, Awnt-5A transcripts are present in neuroectodermal as well as non-neuroectodermal tissues while Awnt-5B mRNAs are predominantly localized in the neuroectoderm. To localize Awnt-5A expression in embryos before gastrulation, early gastrulae were dissected by cutting along the animal-vegetal and future dorso-ventral axes and analyzed by RT-PCR. At this early stage, Awnt-5A transcripts appear to be predominantly localized in the dorso-vegetal region of the embryo. These results suggest that the two closely related Awnt-5 genes participate in different morphogenetic processes during early axolotl development.
Anatomy of the pectoral and forelimb muscles of wildtype and green fluorescent protein-transgenic axolotls and comparison with other tetrapods including humans: a basis for regenerative, evolutionary and developmental studies.
Diogo, R; Tanaka, E M
The axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum is one of the most used model organisms in evolutionary, developmental and regenerative studies, particularly because it can reconstitute a fully functional and complete forelimb/hindlimb. Surprisingly, there is no publication that describes all the pectoral and forelimb muscles of this species or provides a comparative framework between these muscles and those of other model organisms and of modern humans. In the present paper we describe and illustrate all these muscles in A. mexicanum and provide the first report about the myology of adults of a model organism that is based on analyses and dissections of both wildtype animals and transgenic animals that express green fluorescent protein (GFP) in muscle fibers. On the one hand, the inclusion of GFP-transgenic animals allows us to show the muscles as more commonly seen, and thus easier to understand, by current developmental and regenerative biologists. On the other hand, by including wildtype and GFP-transgenic animals and by visualizing these latter animals with and without a simultaneous transmission laser light, we were able to obtain a more complete and clearer understanding of the exact limit of the fleshy and tendinous parts of the muscles and their specific connections with the skeletal elements. This in turn allowed us to settle some controversies in previous anatomical and comparative studies. As most developmental, regenerative and evolutionary biologists are interested in comparing their observations of A. mexicanum with observations in other model organisms, and ultimately in using this information to increase the understanding of human evolution and medicine, we also provide tables showing the homologies between the pectoral and forelimb muscles of axolotls, of model organisms such as mice, frogs and chicken, and of Homo sapiens. An example illustrating the outcomes of using our methodology and of our observations is that they revealed that, contrary to what is often
Paula Andrea Marín Colorado
Full Text Available En este artículo se presenta un acercamiento a la novela Materia dispuesta, del escritor mexicano Juan Villoro. En esta aproximación analítica se pretende dilucidar la conexión entre la obra literaria y el medio en el que se gesta, así como con el momento histórico recreado en la anécdota de la novela (el terremoto ocurrido en Ciudad de México en 1985; lo anterior con el objetivo de establecer la propuesta estética del autor en esta obra y su relación con la visión que construye Materia dispuesta sobre los procesos de Modernidad y Postmodernidad en Latinoamérica. Para tal propósito se recurrirá a las investigaciones literarias y sociológicas de Mijail Bajtín, Zigmunt Bauman, Carlos Monsiváis y Octavio Paz, entre otros.
Paula Andrea Marín Colorado
En este artículo se presenta un acercamiento a la novela Materia dispuesta, del escritor mexicano Juan Villoro. En esta aproximación analítica se pretende dilucidar la conexión entre la obra literaria y el medio en el que se gesta, así como con el momento histórico recreado en la anécdota de la novela (el terremoto ocurrido en Ciudad de México en 1985); lo anterior con el objetivo de establecer la propuesta estética del autor en esta obra y su relación con la visión que construye Materia disp...
Sosnik, Julian; Vieira, Warren A; Webster, Kaitlyn A; Siegfried, Kellee R; McCusker, Catherine D
The nuclear landscape plays an important role in the regulation of tissue and positional specific genes in embryonic and developing cells. Changes in this landscape can be dynamic, and are associated with the differentiation of cells during embryogenesis, and the de-differentiation of cells during induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) formation and in many cancers. However, tools to quantitatively characterize these changes are limited, especially in the in vivo context, where numerous tissue types are present and cells are arranged in multiple layers. Previous tools have been optimized for the monolayer nature of cultured cells. Therefore, we present a new algorithm to quantify the condensation of chromatin in two in vivo systems. We first developed this algorithm to quantify changes in chromatin compaction and validated it in differentiating spermatids in zebrafish testes. Our algorithm successfully detected the typical increase in chromatin compaction as these cells differentiate. We then employed the algorithm to quantify the changes that occur in amphibian limb cells as they participate in a regenerative response. We observed that the chromatin in the limb cells de-compacts as they contribute to the regenerating organ. We present this new tool as an open sourced software that can be readily accessed and optimized to quantify chromatin compaction in complex multi-layered samples.
Full Text Available The nuclear landscape plays an important role in the regulation of tissue and positional specific genes in embryonic and developing cells. Changes in this landscape can be dynamic, and are associated with the differentiation of cells during embryogenesis, and the de-differentiation of cells during induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC formation and in many cancers. However, tools to quantitatively characterize these changes are limited, especially in the in vivo context, where numerous tissue types are present and cells are arranged in multiple layers. Previous tools have been optimized for the monolayer nature of cultured cells. Therefore, we present a new algorithm to quantify the condensation of chromatin in two in vivo systems. We first developed this algorithm to quantify changes in chromatin compaction and validated it in differentiating spermatids in zebrafish testes. Our algorithm successfully detected the typical increase in chromatin compaction as these cells differentiate. We then employed the algorithm to quantify the changes that occur in amphibian limb cells as they participate in a regenerative response. We observed that the chromatin in the limb cells de-compacts as they contribute to the regenerating organ. We present this new tool as an open sourced software that can be readily accessed and optimized to quantify chromatin compaction in complex multi-layered samples.
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
Objectives: Regenerative studies on model animals often require invasive techniques such as tissue sampling and histology for visualisation of regenerative processes. These interactions are avoided using non invasive imaging techniques. The internalisation of very small super paramagnetic iron...
Piekarski, Nadine; Gross, Joshua B.; Hanken, James
Development of the vertebrate skull has been studied intensively for more than 150 years, yet many essential features remain unresolved. One such feature is the extent to which embryonic derivation of individual bones is evolutionarily conserved or labile. We perform long-term fate mapping using GFP-transgenic axolotl and Xenopus laevis to document the contribution of individual cranial neural crest streams to the osteocranium in these amphibians. Here we show that the axolotl pattern is stri...
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
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 to th...
out its life in the water as an adult larva with gills. Many mutations have been discovered and bred. Clockwise from the top: Gold albino , white...eyeless, wild-type (greenish black in color), and white albino . Axolotls have enormous powers of limb, tail, and jaw regeneration but are just like
Mora, J.; Martuscelli, J.; Ortiz-Pineda, Juana; Soberón, G.
1. Carbamoyl phosphate synthetase, ornithine transcarbamoylase, the arginine-synthetase system and arginase were measured in the livers of ammoniotelic, ureotelic and uricotelic animals. The chelonian reptiles, whose nitrogen excretory patterns vary according to the habitat, and the Mexican axolotl, a neotenic species, were also studied. 2. The levels of the activities of the first three enzymes mentioned correlate with the amount of nitrogen excreted as urea. 3. The terrestrial turtle, which excretes mainly uric acid, maintains a high arginase activity but has very low levels of the activities of the other three enzymes. 4. The first three enzymes of the urea cycle vary in the phylogenic scale in a co-ordinated manner, which suggests that they are under the same regulatory mechanism. 5. Urea formation from endogenous arginine in vitro has a low efficiency in the Mexican axolotl. 6. The induction of metamorphosis in the Mexican axolotl by the administration of l-tri-iodothyronine, which causes a shift from ammonio-ureotelism to complete ureotelism, is accompanied by an increase mainly in carbamoyl phosphate synthetase and also by an improvement in the efficiency of hydrolysis of endogenous arginine in vitro to give urea. 7. The results obtained by differential centrifugation of the urea-cycle enzymes in rat and Mexican-axolotl livers are presented. The location requirements for the integration of a metabolic cycle are discussed. PMID:14343146
Piekarski, Nadine; Gross, Joshua B; Hanken, James
Development of the vertebrate skull has been studied intensively for more than 150 years, yet many essential features remain unresolved. One such feature is the extent to which embryonic derivation of individual bones is evolutionarily conserved or labile. We perform long-term fate mapping using GFP-transgenic axolotl and Xenopus laevis to document the contribution of individual cranial neural crest streams to the osteocranium in these amphibians. Here we show that the axolotl pattern is strikingly similar to that in amniotes; it likely represents the ancestral condition for tetrapods. Unexpectedly, the pattern in Xenopus is much different; it may constitute a unique condition that evolved after anurans diverged from other amphibians. Such changes reveal an unappreciated relation between life history evolution and cranial development and exemplify 'developmental system drift', in which interspecific divergence in developmental processes that underlie homologous characters occurs with little or no concomitant change in the adult phenotype.
Tanaka, Elly M.; Reddien, Peter W.
The ability of animals to regenerate missing parts is a dramatic and poorly understood aspect of biology. The sources of new cells for these regenerative phenomena have been sought for decades. Recent advances involving cell fate tracking in complex tissues have shed new light on the cellular underpinnings of regeneration in Hydra, planarians, zebrafish, Xenopus, and Axolotl. Planarians accomplish regeneration with use of adult pluripotent stem cells, whereas several vertebrates utilize a col...
An Van Hecke
This study focuses on the symbolic meanings of the axolotl in Juan Villoro’s novel Materia dispuesta and the way the author approaches the concept of identity from both, the adolescent protagonist and Mexicans in general. This novel will be read in light of Roger Bartra’s essay, La jaula de la melancolía. Bartra uses the metaphor of the axolotl to analyse the concept of metamorphosis in the Mexican identity. Thereafter, Villoro’s novel will be compared with Julio Cortazar’s short story “Axolotl”, and Octavio Paz’s poem “Salamandra”. This comparison will allow to amplify the perspective and deepen the analysis of this hybrid animal by Villoro. The study of the axolotl demonstrates that Villoro revives the ancient aztec mythology about this amphibian, that was the representation of the god Xolotl, and that he introduces at the same time new meanings. It is in that combination of both perspectives that the richness of Villoro’s literary universe will be revealed.
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 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
Full Text Available 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.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.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-neurogenic neural function
Tanaka, Elly; Reddien, Peter W.
The ability of animals to regenerate missing parts is a dramatic and poorly understood aspect of biology. The sources of new cells for these regenerative phenomena have been sought for decades. Recent advances involving cell fate tracking in complex tissues have shed new light on the cellular underpinnings of regeneration in Hydra, planarians, zebrafish, Xenopus, and Axolotl. Planarians accomplish regeneration with use of adult pluripotent stem cells, whereas several vertebrates utilize a collection of lineage-restricted progenitors from different tissues. Together, an array of cellular strategies—from pluripotent stem cells to tissue-specific stem cells and dedifferentiation—are utilized for regeneration. PMID:21763617
Dall'Agnese, Alessandra; Puri, Pier Lorenzo
Development of methods to reawaken the semi-dormant regenerative potential that lies within adult human tissues would hold promise for the restoration of diseased or damaged organs and tissues. While most of the regeneration potential is suppressed in many vertebrates, including humans, during adult life, urodele amphibians (salamanders) retain their regenerative ability throughout adulthood. Studies in newts and axolotls, two salamander models, have provided significant knowledge about adult limb regeneration. In this review, we present a comparative analysis of salamander and mammalian regeneration and discuss how evolutionarily altered properties of the regenerative environment can be exploited to restore full regenerative potential in the human body. © 2016 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.
Milyavsky, Maresha; Dickie, Renee
The rapidity with which epithelial cells cover a wound surface helps determine whether scarring or scar-less healing results. As methylene blue is a vital dye that is absorbed by damaged tissue but not undamaged epidermis, it can be used to assess wound closure. We sought to develop a quantitative methylene blue exclusion assay to estimate the timeframe for re-epithelialization in regenerating appendages in zebrafish and axolotls, two classic model systems of regeneration. Following application of methylene blue to the amputation plane and extensive washing, the regenerating tail was imaged in vivo until staining was no longer visible. The percent area of the amputation plane positive for methylene blue, representing the area of the amputation plane not yet re-epithelialized, was measured for each time point. The loss of methylene blue occurred rapidly, within ~2.5 h in larval and juvenile axolotls and <1 h in adult zebrafish, consistent with high rates of re-epithelialization in these models of regeneration. The assay allows simple, rapid estimation of the time course for regenerative re-epithelialization without affecting subsequent regenerative ability. This technique will permit comparison of re-epithelialization across different strains and stages, as well as under the influence of various pharmacological inhibitors that affect regeneration.
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.
Lauridsen, Henrik; Foldager, Casper Bindzus; Hagensen, Mette
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......Introduction: Regenerative potential in humans is very limited. Like other mammals we rely heavily on fibrosis and scar formation in response to injury. On the contrary, urodele amphibians (salamanders and newts) such as the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) are champions of tissue regeneration among...... 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...
Johnson, Andrew D; Alberio, Ramiro
Embryos of many animal models express germ line determinants that suppress transcription and mediate early germ line commitment, which occurs before the somatic cell lineages are established. However, not all animals segregate their germ line in this manner. The 'last cell standing' model describes primordial germ cell (PGC) development in axolotls, in which PGCs are maintained by an extracellular signalling niche, and germ line commitment occurs after gastrulation. Here, we propose that this 'stochastic' mode of PGC specification is conserved in vertebrates, including non-rodent mammals. We postulate that early germ line segregation liberates genetic regulatory networks for somatic development to evolve, and that it therefore emerged repeatedly in the animal kingdom in response to natural selection. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
Perrier, J F; Hounsgaard, J
The intrinsic response properties of spinal motoneurons determine how converging premotor neuronal input is translated into the final motor command transmitted to muscles. From the patchy data available it seems that these properties and their underlying currents are highly conserved in terrestrial...... 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...... mediated by L-type Ca2+ channels. This mature phenotype is reached gradually during development through phases in which A-type potassium channels and T-type calcium channels are transiently expressed. The intrinsic response properties of mature spinal motoneurons are subject to short-term adjustments via...
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. © 2016 AlphaMed Press.
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.
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. © 2015 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Teacher, Amber G. F.; Garner, Trenton W. J.; Nichols, Richard A.
Whilst the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) is well characterized in the anuran Xenopus, this region has not previously been studied in another popular model species, the common frog (Rana temporaria). Nor, to date, have there been any studies of MHC in wild amphibian host-pathogen systems. We characterise an MHC class I locus in the common frog, and present primers to amplify both the whole region, and specifically the antigen binding region. As no more than two expressed haplotypes were found in over 400 clones from 66 individuals, it is likely that there is a single class I locus in this species. This finding is consistent with the single class I locus in Xenopus, but contrasts with the multiple loci identified in axolotls, providing evidence that the diversification of MHC class I into multiple loci likely occurred after the Caudata/Anura divergence (approximately 350 million years ago) but before the Ranidae/Pipidae divergence (approximately 230 mya). We use this locus to compare wild populations of common frogs that have been infected with a viral pathogen (Ranavirus) with those that have no history of infection. We demonstrate that certain MHC supertypes are associated with infection status (even after accounting for shared ancestry), and that the diseased populations have more similar supertype frequencies (lower FST) than the uninfected. These patterns were not seen in a suite of putatively neutral microsatellite loci. We interpret this pattern at the MHC locus to indicate that the disease has imposed selection for particular haplotypes, and hence that common frogs may be adapting to the presence of Ranavirus, which currently kills tens of thousands of amphibians in the UK each year. PMID:19240796
Kühn, Norma Krystyna; Gollisch, Tim
The processing of motion in visual scenes is important for detecting and tracking moving objects as well as for monitoring self-motion through the induced optic flow. Specialized neural circuits have been identified in the vertebrate retina for detecting motion direction or for distinguishing between object motion and self-motion, although little is known about how information about these distinct features of visual motion is combined. The salamander retina, which is a widely used model system for analyzing retinal function, contains object-motion-sensitive (OMS) ganglion cells, which strongly respond to local motion signals but are suppressed by global image motion. Yet, direction-selective (DS) ganglion cells have been conspicuously absent from characterizations of the salamander retina, despite their ubiquity in other model systems. We here show that the retina of axolotl salamanders contains at least two distinct classes of DS ganglion cells. For one of these classes, the cells display a strong preference for local over global motion in addition to their direction selectivity (OMS-DS cells) and thereby combine sensitivity to two distinct motion features. The OMS-DS cells are further distinct from standard (non-OMS) DS cells by their smaller receptive fields and different organization of preferred motion directions. Our results suggest that the two classes of DS cells specialize to encode motion direction of local and global motion stimuli, respectively, even for complex composite motion scenes. Furthermore, although the salamander DS cells are OFF-type, there is a strong analogy to the systems of ON and ON-OFF DS cells in the mammalian retina. The retina contains specialized cells for motion processing. Among the retinal ganglion cells, which form the output neurons of the retina, some are known to report the direction of a moving stimulus (direction-selective cells), and others distinguish the motion of an object from a moving background. But little is known
Mastellos, Dimitrios C.; DeAngelis, Robert A.; Lambris, John D.
Adult tissue plasticity, cell reprogramming, and organ regeneration are major challenges in the field of modern regenerative medicine. Devising strategies to increase the regenerative capacity of tissues holds great promise for dealing with donor organ shortages and low transplantation outcomes and also provides essential impetus to tissue bioengineering approaches for organ repair and replacement. The inherent ability of cells to reprogram their fate by switching into an embryonic-like, pluripotent progenitor state is an evolutionary vestige that in mammals has been retained mostly in fetal tissues and persists only in a few organs of the adult body. Tissue regeneration reflects the capacity of terminally differentiated cells to re-enter the cell cycle and proliferate in response to acute injury or environmental stress signals. In lower vertebrates, this regenerative capacity extends to several organs and remarkably culminates in precise tissue patterning, through cellular transdifferentiation and complex morphogenetic processes that can faithfully reconstruct entire body parts. Many lessons have been learned from robust regeneration models in amphibians such as the newt and axolotl. However, the dynamic interactions between the regenerating tissue, the surrounding stroma, and the host immune response, as it adapts to the actively proliferating tissue, remain ill-defined. The regenerating zone, through a sequence of distinct molecular events, adopts phenotypic plasticity and undergoes rigorous tissue remodeling that, in turn, evokes a significant inflammatory response. Complement is a primordial sentinel of the innate immune response that engages in multiple inflammatory cascades as it becomes activated during tissue injury and remodeling. In this respect, complement proteins have been implicated in tissue and organ regeneration in both urodeles and mammals. Distinct complement-triggered pathways have been shown to modulate critical responses that promote tissue
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