Epimorphic regeneration proceeds with or without formation of a blastema, as observed for the limb and skin, respectively. Inhibition of epimorphic regeneration provides a means to interrogate the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate it. In this study, we show that exposing amputated limbs to beryllium nitrate disrupts blastema formation and causes severe patterning defects in limb regeneration. In contrast, exposing full-thickness skin wounds to beryllium only causes a delay in skin regeneration. By transplanting full-thickness skin from ubiquitous GFP-expressing axolotls to wild-type hosts, we demonstrate that beryllium inhibits fibroblast migration during limb and skin regeneration in vivo. Moreover, we show that beryllium also inhibits cell migration in vitro using axolotl and human fibroblasts. Interestingly, beryllium did not act as an immunostimulatory agent as it does in Anurans and mammals, nor did it affect keratinocyte migration, proliferation or re-epithelialization, suggesting that the effect of beryllium is cell type-specific. While we did not detect an increase in cell death during regeneration in response to beryllium, it did disrupt cell proliferation in mesenchymal cells. Taken together, our data show that normal blastema organogenesis cannot occur without timely infiltration of local fibroblasts and highlights the importance of positional information to instruct pattern formation during regeneration. In contrast, non-blastemal-based skin regeneration can occur despite early inhibition of fibroblast migration and cell proliferation.
The authors declare no competing or financial interests.
A.B.C and A.W.S developed the project, designed and carried out the experiments and wrote the manuscript.
This work was supported by the University of Kentucky Office of Research.
Supplementary information available online at http://dev.biologists.org/lookup/doi/10.1242/dev.134882.supplemental
- Received January 7, 2016.
- Accepted August 12, 2016.