Repeated removal of developing limb buds permanently reduces appendage size in the highly-regenerative axolotl.

Academic Article


  • Matching appendage size to body size is fundamental to animal function. Generating an appropriately-sized appendage is a robust process executed during development which is also critical for regeneration. When challenged, larger animals are programmed to regenerate larger limbs than smaller animals within a single species. Understanding this process has important implications for regenerative medicine. To approach this complex question, models with altered appendage size:body size ratios are required. We hypothesized that repeatedly challenging axolotls to regrow limb buds would affect their developmental program resulting in altered target morphology. We discovered that after 10 months following this experimental procedure, limbs that developed were permanently miniaturized. This altered target morphology was preserved upon amputation and regeneration. Future experiments using this platform should provide critical information about how target limb size is encoded within limb progenitors.
  • Authors

  • Bryant, Donald M
  • Sousounis, Konstantinos
  • Farkas, Johanna E
  • Bryant, Sevara
  • Thao, Neng
  • Guzikowski, Anna R
  • Monaghan, James R
  • Levin, Michael
  • Whited, Jessica L
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • April 1, 2017
  • Published In


  • Ambystoma mexicanum
  • Amputation, Surgical
  • Animals
  • Axolotl
  • Development
  • Ectromelia
  • Growth
  • Limb
  • Limb Buds
  • Morphogenesis
  • Nerve Tissue
  • Organ Size
  • Regeneration
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 1
  • End Page

  • 9
  • Volume

  • 424
  • Issue

  • 1