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Abstract

Immunocytochemistry utilizing a monoclonal antibody (BV1; blood vessel 1) highly reactive to the vasculature of the adult newt showed that a developing vasculature was present during early, pre-blastema, and early-bud blastema stages of forelimb regeneration in this species. Infusion of Prussian Blue and DiI into the brachial artery further delineated the intactness of this early vasculature. Finally, macroscopic observations of vascular flow underneath the apical epithelial cap (AEC) and microsurgical removal of the AEC and observation of subsequent bleeding buttressed the conclusion that an intact vasculature exists during early nerve-dependent stages of newt forelimb regeneration. The results suggest that this process of neovascular formation is angiogenesis, i.e., the formation of new vessels from pre-existing vessels in the stump. Furthermore, angiogenesis is an ongoing process initiated early after amputation. Blastema cells and the AEC are likely sources of factors that stimulate neovascularization. J. Exp. Zool. 292:255–266, 2002. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.