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Keywords:

  • Xenopus;
  • regeneration;
  • blastema;
  • epimorphic;
  • transdifferentiation;
  • tail;
  • limb;
  • lens;
  • transcriptome;
  • Hsp70

Abstract

While Xenopus is a well-known model system for early vertebrate development, in recent years, it has also emerged as a leading model for regeneration research. As an anuran amphibian, Xenopus laevis can regenerate the larval tail and limb by means of the formation of a proliferating blastema, the lens of the eye by transdifferentiation of nearby tissues, and also exhibits a partial regeneration of the postmetamorphic froglet forelimb. With the availability of inducible transgenic techniques for Xenopus, recent experiments are beginning to address the functional role of genes in the process of regeneration. The use of soluble inhibitors has also been very successful in this model. Using the more traditional advantages of Xenopus, others are providing important lineage data on the origin of the cells that make up the tissues of the regenerate. Finally, transcriptome analyses of regenerating tissues seek to identify the genes and cellular processes that enable successful regeneration. Developmental Dynamics 238:1226–1248, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.