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Keywords:

  • regeneration;
  • Xenopus laevis;
  • tail;
  • differential display;
  • collagen;
  • neuronal pentraxin I;
  • gene expression

Abstract

To identify candidate gene(s) involved in the tail regeneration of Xenopus laevis tadpoles, we used the differential display method to isolate four genes (clones 1, 2, 13a, and 13b) whose expression is induced in regenerating tadpole tails. Among them, clones 13a and 13b were found to encode the Xenopus homologues of the α1 chain of type XVIII collagen and neuronal pentraxin I, respectively. Expression of clone 2 and neuronal pentraxin I genes increased dramatically in the blastema 3 days after amputation, whereas that for the clone 1 and type XVIII collagen genes was induced gradually after amputation. In situ hybridization revealed that the neuronal pentraxin I gene is expressed specifically in the regenerating tail epidermis but not in the normal tail epidermis or the most distal margin of the tail blastema, suggesting that it has a tissue-inductive role in tail regeneration. Expression of the four genes was induced in the limb and in the tail blastema, suggesting that they are involved in the regeneration of both organs. Finally, expression of clone 2 and neuronal pentraxin I genes was scarce during embryonic stages in comparison to the tail blastema, suggesting that their main functions are in organ regeneration. Our results demonstrate unique features of spatial and temporal gene expression patterns during Xenopus tadpole tail regeneration. Developmental Dynamics 226:317–325, 2003. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.