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Abstract

The effects of an inhibiting dose of 2,000 rad of X-rays on the regenerating limbs of axolotl larvae have been examined in a histological and cytological study. Particular attention was paid to the mitotic indices of normal and irradiated epidermal and blastemal cells. Both the characteristic pattern of epidermal mitotic stimulation which normally follows amputation and the later increase in blastemal mitoses are suppressed by irradiation. In most cells the effects are permanent, but in a small proportion a mitotic delay is induced and upon subsequent division chromosome damage in the form of micronuclei is revealed. Thus irradiated cells which do divide almost certainly die. These results are discussed in relation to other theories of X-ray inhibition of regeneration with particular reference to the view that irradiated cells can be reactivated.