Transgenic analysis of signaling pathways required for Xenopus tadpole spinal cord and muscle regeneration

G Lin, Y Chen, J Slack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (SciVal)


The Xenopus tadpole has the capacity fully to regenerate its tail after amputation. Previously, we have established that this regeneration process requires the operation of several signaling pathways including the bone morphogenic protein, Wnt, and Fgf pathways. Here, we have addressed the signaling requirements for spinal cord and muscle regeneration in a tissue-specific manner. Two methods were used namely grafts of transgenic spinal cord to a wild type host, and the use of the Tet-on conditional transgenic system to express inhibitors in the individual tissues. For the grafting experiments, the tail was amputated through the graft, which contained a temperature inducible inhibitor of the Wnt-β-catenin pathway. For the Tet-on experiments, treatment with doxycycline was used to induce cell autonomous inhibitors of the Wnt-β-catenin or the Fgf pathway in either spinal cord or muscle. The results show that both spinal cord and muscle regeneration depend on both the Wnt-β-catenin and the Fgf pathways. This experimental design also enables us to observe the effect of inhibition of regeneration of one tissue on the regeneration of the others. Regardless of the method of inhibition, we find that reduction of spinal cord regeneration reduces regeneration of other parts of the tail, including the myotomal muscles. In contrast, reduction of muscle regeneration has no effect on the regeneration of the spinal cord. In common with other regeneration systems, this indicates that soluble factors from the spinal cord are needed to promote the regeneration of the other tissues in the tail.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1532-1540
Number of pages8
JournalThe Anatomical Record : Advances in Integrative Anatomy and Evolutionary Biology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012


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