Coordinating tissues during axolotl limb regeneration
Regrowth of a severed limb in the axolotl is a spectacular example of regeneration—the remaining portion of the limb is able to activate stem cells so that the replace the appropriate part of the limb, and rebuild the complex architecture of the different, interacting cells types. This process occurs in three morphologically and molecularly definable stages, wound-healing, blastemal formation, and patterning. I will talk about our work that has identified wound signals that initiate regeneration, and how the connective tissue cells orchestrate the building of the blastema and the patterning of the regenerate. A stable positional code is maintained in the adult limb that is central for controlling the amputation specificity and controlling that the correct parts of the limb are produced.
Elly Tanaka received her AB at Harvard, her PhD at UCSF and post-doctoral work at University College London. She became groupleader at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics Dresden then Professor at the TU Dresden and since 2016 Senior scientist at the Institute for Molecular Pathology, Vienna. She has developed molecular genetics in the axolotl to identify the stem cells for limb and spinal cord regeneration, identified molecular pathways that control progenitor cell expansion, and patterning.