A scanning electron microscopic comparison of the development of embryonic and regenerating limbs in the axolotl

Authors


  • Supported by grants from the Muscular Dystrophy Association and NIH (HD 08150 and 5-T01-GM 00312).

Abstract

A comparison between the surface features of embryonic limb development and limb regeneration was made in the axolotl. Scanning electron microscopy revealed an overall similarity between embryonic and regenerating limbs. A notable feature was the lack of a morphologically discrete apical epidermal specialization on the surface of any of the limbs. Histological preparations revealed no thickening of the apical epidermis in embryonic limbs. There is a definite thickening of the apical epidermis in regenerating limbs during the stages of dedifferentiation and the early blastemal phases, but the thickening projects into the underlying tissues rather than altering the smooth surface contours of the blastema. Minor differences in epidermal specializations (ciliated cells scattered over the entire body and very irregularly shaped cells with knoblike projections at the tips of digits in embryos) may be attributable to differences in overall activity of the animals at various stages in their life history.

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