Projects per year
The Xenopus tadpole is a favourable organism for regeneration research because it is suitable for a wide range of micromanipulative procedures and for a wide range of transgenic methods. Combination of these techniques enables genes to be activated or inhibited at specific times and in specific tissue types to a much higher degree than in any other organism capable of regeneration. Regenerating systems include the tail, the limb buds and the lens. The study of tail regeneration has shown that each tissue type supplies the cells for its own replacement: there is no detectable de-differentiation or metaplasia. Signalling systems needed for regeneration include the BMP and Notch signalling pathways, and perhaps also the Wnt and FGF pathways. The limb buds will regenerate completely at early stages, but not once they are fully differentiated. This provides a good opportunity to study the loss of regenerative ability using transgenic methods.