• regeneration;
  • joint;
  • Bmp-4;
  • Gdf-;
  • Sox-9;
  • limb;
  • spike;
  • Xenopus laevis


In Xenopus laevis, amputation of the adult limb results in the formation of a simple (hypomorphic) spike-like structure without joints, although tadpole limb bud regenerates complete limb pattern. The expression of some joint marker genes was examined in limb development and regeneration. Bmp-4 and gdf-5 were expressed and sox-9 expression was decreased in the joint region. Although developing cartilages were well-organized and had bmp-4 expressing perichondrocytes, the spike cartilage did not have such a structure, but only showed sparse bmp-4 expression. Application of BMP4-soaked beads to the spike led to the induction of a joint-like structure. These results suggest that the lack of joints in the spike is due to the deficiency of the accumulation of the cells that express bmp-4. Improvement of regeneration in the Xenopus adult limb that we report here for the first time will give us important insights into epimorphic regeneration. Developmental Dynamics 233:1444–1453, 2005. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.