Changes in the Distribution of Fibronectin During Limb Regeneration in Newts Using Immunocytochemistry


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The distribution of fibronectin in regenerating newt limbs was studied using immunocytochemistry. At appropriate intervals after the initial amputation at the elbow (10–30 days), animals were reamputated at the shoulder and processed for light microscopy. The peroxidase-antiperoxidase technique was used to localize affinity-purified antibodies to fibronectin in limb tissues. At the amputation site, fibronectin was associated with basal laminae and connective tissues adjacent to dedifferentiating limb tissues destined to form the regeneration blastema. Accumulation and growth of the blastema was accompanied by the apparent de novo synthesis of fibronectin, where it appeared randomly in the interstitium between blastemal cells. The onset of chondrogenesis was characterized by a central condensation of prechondroblasts that formed the cartilage anlagen. Fibronectin formed an amorphous network between presumptive chondroblasts. As the mature cartilage phenotype was expressed and chondrocytes became isolated in lacunae, fibronectin was greatly reduced and then disappeared. The extracellular matrix surrounding undifferentiated blastemal cells still contained fibronectin. Fibronectin was also found in high concentrations between differentiating myoblasts. A condensation of fibronectin was also observed beneath the epidermis at the distal limb tip at the onset of digit formation. These observations are consistent with the hypothesis that fibronectin may play a key role in the morphogenetic events that result in the spatial organization and subsequent differentiation of cells during pattern formation in the regenerating limb.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-131
Number of pages7
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - 1982


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