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Position-specific induction of ectopic limbs in non-regenerating blastemas on axolotl forelimbs.

Published Web Location Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

Ectopic retinoic acid (RA) has been hypothesized to reprogram the positional identity of cells in developing and regenerating limbs to a single positional value corresponding to the posterior-ventral-proximal (PVPr) position on the limb. We tested this hypothesis by using RA to reprogram the information of blastema cells that were induced to form at different positions around the limb circumference. We observed that RA treatment of blastemas in anterior and dorsal locations, but not posterior and ventral locations, resulted in the induction of complete ectopic limbs. These position-specific differences in limb induction are probably due to differences in the positional disparity between the RA-reprogrammed blastema cells and the cells at the periphery of the wound. These observations are consistent with the hypothesis that RA treatment reprograms the information in blastema cells to the PVPr position on the limb, since anterior and dorsal positions have the largest disparity and posterior and ventral have the smallest disparity from the PVPr identity.

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