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Regeneration of symmetrical forelimbs in the axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum.


Surgically constructed symmetrical double-anterior and double-posterior upper forelimbs of the axolotl were amputated immediately after surgery. Double-anterior limbs either failed to regenerate or formed single digits or spikes. Double-posterior limbs formed symmetrical double-posterior regenerates in 60% of the cases, thus extending the previous finding that the amount of distal transformation in surgically constructed double-half limbs is inversely proportional to the time between grafting and amputation (Tank and Holder, 1978). When these symmetrical regenerates were amputated through the forearm region, all but one formed a symmetrical secondary regenerate. The majority of the secondary regenerates had a larger number of digits than did their corresponding primary regenerates. Reamputation of the secondary regenerates resulted in symmetrical tertiary regenerates, and the majority of these also had a larger number of digits than did their corresponding primary regenerates. The results are compared to those of Slack and Savage (1978a, b) on embryonically derived double-posterior limbs and they are discussed in terms of a formal model for distal transformation (Bryant and Baca, 1978). © 1980.

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