Axolotls are unique in their ability to regenerate the spinal cord. However, the mechanisms that underlie this phenomenon remain poorly understood. Previously, we showed that regenerating stem cells in the axolotl spinal cord revert to a molecular state resembling embryonic neuroepithelial cells and functionally acquire rapid proliferative divisions (Rodrigo Albors et al., 2015). Here, we refine the analysis of cell proliferation in space and time and identify a high-proliferation zone in the regenerating spinal cord that shifts posteriorly over time. By tracking sparsely-labeled cells, we also quantify cell influx into the regenerate. Taking a mathematical modeling approach, we integrate these quantitative datasets of cell proliferation, neural stem cell activation and cell influx, to predict regenerative tissue outgrowth. Our model shows that while cell influx and neural stem cell activation play a minor role, the acceleration of the cell cycle is the major driver of regenerative spinal cord outgrowth in axolotls.
- Elly M Tanaka
- Elly M Tanaka
- Osvaldo Chara
- Lutz Brusch
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: The axolotl animal work was performed under permission granted in animal license number DD24-9168.11-1/2012-13 conferred by the Animal Welfare Commission of the State of Saxony, Germany (Landesdirektion, Sachsen).
- Marianne Bronner, California Institute of Technology, United States
© 2016, Rost et al.
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