The Use of Retinoids to Explore the Cellular and Molecular Basis of Positional Memory in Regenerating Amphibian Limbs

  • David L. Stocum
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 172)


Epimorphic limb regeneration in amphibians, by definition, must include replacement of those parts that are amputated from the whole. But to make a functional regenerate, a stringent constraint is that the regeneration blastema not duplicate any structure proximal to its level of origin. Redifferentiation of only those structures distal to the amputation plane by the blastema is known as the “rule of distal transformation” (Rose, 1970). The mechanism underlying the rule of distal transformation has been investigated since the end of the 19th century. At a first level, we can ask whether the mechanism is intrinsic or extrinsic to the blastema. If the former, the blastema is an independently differentiating tissue; if the latter, it is a nullipotent or pluripotent tissue requiring an inductive signal from the adjacent differentiated limb tissues to specify its pattern of redifferentiation.


Retinoic Acid Retinoic Acid Treatment Positional Memory Blastema Cell Retinoic Acid Receptor Alpha 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • David L. Stocum
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Cell and Structural BiologyUniversity of IllinoisUrbanaUSA

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