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Lens regeneration from cornea of larval Xenopus laevis in the presence of the lens
Julie G. Reeve, Arthur E. Wild


In Xenopus laevis tadpoles, wounding of the outer cornea failed to initiate lens regeneration. If both the outer and inner corneas were wounded or if the lens was dislocated, lens regeneration was initiated but failed to continue beyond stage III. However, lensectomy followed by re-implantation of the lens resulted in the regeneration of a fully differentiated lens in several cases, despite the presence of the re-implanted lens. Although some of the regenerates in these eyes were also arrested at stage III, those which attained full lens differentiation, i.e. stage V, developed normally and synthesized crystallins from the onsetof stage IV as indicated by a positive immunofluorescence reaction.

Histological examination of the dislocated and re-implanted lenses showed the majority of them to be normal in appearance.

Cornea transplanted to the posterior chamber of the eye also regenerated a lens in the presence of the re-implanted lens. All these regenerates underwent lens fibre differentiation to give stage-V regenerates.

These findings show that lens regeneration from the cornea can occur in the presence of lens. Results are discussed on the basis that contrary to earlier suggestions, an inhibitory lens factor does not exist in vivo, but rather that a factor for the initiation and maintenance of regeneration emanates from the eye cup and upon wounding of the inner cornea is able to reach the inner cell layer of the outer cornea and initiate lens regeneration.


    • Received May 30, 1978.