Letter | Published:

Nerves and angiogenesis in amphibian limb regeneration

Naturevolume 257pages224225 (1975) | Download Citation



IN the past 150 yr, since the requirement of nerves for amphibian limb regeneration was demonstrated, there has been considerable progress in specifying the nature of the phenomenon but virtually none in understanding the site or nature of the neuronal effect1. If denervation is carried out early, amputated limbs will not regenerate and may even undergo regression; at later stages in regeneration, when a blastema has formed, regeneration is not prevented by denervation, although in the newt at least, growth in volume is inhibited while growth in length and morphogenesis continue2,3. Studies on the neuronal dependence have shown that any nerve can provide the trophic influence, that neither central nor reflex circuitry is required, and that a threshold number of nerves at the amputation surface is needed4. The neurotrophic agents do not determine the nature of the regenerate but only its growth properties4, and this is borne out by many biochemical studies, all of which suggest that nerves nonspecifically affect macromolecular synthesis and cell division5,6.

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  1. Department of Biology as Applied to Medicine, The Middlesex Hospital Medical School, London, W1P 6DB, UK

    • A. R. SMITH
    •  & L. WOLPERT


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