The cellular and molecular bases allowing tissue regeneration are not well understood. By performing gain- and loss-of-function experiments of specific members of the Wnt pathway during appendage regeneration, we demonstrate that this pathway is not only necessary for regeneration to occur, but it is also able to promote regeneration in axolotl, Xenopus, and zebrafish. Furthermore, we show that changes in the spatiotemporal distribution of β-catenin in the developing chick embryo elicit apical ectodermal ridge and limb regeneration in an organism previously thought not to regenerate. Our studies may provide valuable insights toward a better understanding of adult tissue regeneration.
- Apical ectodermal cap