Vitamin A Effect on Limb Regeneration: Studies on the Tadpoles of Anuran Amphibians

  • I. A. Niazi
  • O. P. Jangir
  • S. Alam
  • K. K. Sharma
  • C. S. Ratnassamy
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 172)


It has been known for long that excess of vitamin A causes a variety of malformations and defects including those of limbs in mammalian fetuses (Takekoshi, 1964). The initial objective of the studies which begun at this laboratory about 20 years ago was to explore if the excess of this vitamin produced any teratogenic or inhibitory effects on the normal development and on tail and limb regeneration in the anuran amphibians. It was found that continuous immersion of frog and toad tadpoles in aqueous suspension of vitamin A palmitate inhibited regeneration of both tail (Niazi and Saxena, 1968) and limbs (Saxena and Niazi, 1977). However, hindlimb regenerates of young tadpoles of Bufo andersonii, given a restricted treatment with vitamin A postamputation revealed two unexpected features: in some cases more than one regenerates had grown out from the same stump and some of them consisted of all limb segments from thigh to foot arising from the shank stump (Niazi and Saxena, 1978). The latter feature was particularly intriguing because it showed that vitamin A was instrumental in breaking the general rule of limb regeneration according to which only the missing parts distal to the amputation level are restored.


Retinoic Acid Limb Regeneration Toad Tadpole Blastema Cell Anuran Amphibian 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alam, S., 1983, Studies on the morphogenetic influence of treatment of tadpoles of the anuran Bufo melanostictus Schneider with vitamin A palmitate on limb regeneration, Ph.D. Thesis, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, India.Google Scholar
  2. Chytil, F. and Ong, D.E., 1984, Cellular retinoid-binding protein, in: “The Retinoids”, M.B. Sporn, A.B. Roberts and D.S. Goodman, eds., Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  3. Daly, A.K. and Redfern, C.P.F., 1987, Characterization of retinoid acid binding component from F9 embryonal carcinoma-cell nuclei, Eur. J. Biochem., 168:133–139.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Jangir, O.P., 1979, Experimental studies on the ontogenesis and regeneration of limbs in the anuran Bufo melanostictus (Schneider), Ph.D. Thesis, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, India.Google Scholar
  5. Jangir, O.P. and Niazi, I.A., 1978, Stage dependent effects of vitamin A excess on limbs during ontogenesis and regeneration in tadpoles of the toad Bufo melanostictus Schneider, Ind. J. Exp. Biol., 16:438–445.Google Scholar
  6. Keeble, S., and Maden, M., 1986a, Retinoic acid binding protein in the axolotl; Distribution in mature tissues and time of appearance during limb regeneration, Dev. Biol., 117:435–441.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Keeble, S., and Maden, M., 1986b, The presence of cytoplasmic retinoic acid binding proteins in amphibian tissues and their possible role in limb regeneration, in: “Progress in Developmental Biology”, Alan R. Liss, New York.Google Scholar
  8. Khan, M.S., 1965, A normal table of Bufo melanostictus, (Schneider), Biolocria, 11:1–39.Google Scholar
  9. Kim, W.-S., and Stocum, D.L., 1986a, Effects of retinoic acid on regenerating normal and double half limbs of axolotls: histological studies, Roux’s Arch. Dev. Biol., 195:243–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Koussoulakos, S., Sharma, K.K. and Anton, H.J., 1988. Influence of vitamin A on proximal and distal blastemata of Triturus alpestris: a morphological and cytophotometric study, Monogr. dev. Biol., 21:138–144.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Lheureux, E., Thorns, S.D. and Cary, F., 1986, The effects of two retinoids on limb regeneration in Pleurodeles waltlii and Triturus vulgaris, J. Embryol. exp. Morph., 92:165–182.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Maden, M., 1982, Vitamin A and pattern formation in the regenerating limb, Nature (London), 295:672–675.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Maden, M., 1983, The effect of vitamin A on limb regeneration in Rana temporaria, Dev. Biol., 98:409–416.Google Scholar
  14. Maden, M., Keeble, S. and Cox, R.A., 1985. The characteristics of local application of retinoic acid to the regenerating axolotl limb, Roux’s Arch. Dev. Biol., 194:228–235.Google Scholar
  15. McCormick, A.E., Shubeita, H.E. and Stocum, D.L., 1988, Cellular retinoic acid binding protein: Detection and quantitation in regenerating axolotl limb, J. Exp. Zool., 245:270–276.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Niazi, I.A., 1983, Regeneration studies in India, in: “Developmental Biology. An Afro-Asian Perspective”, S.C. Goel and R. Bellairs, eds. ISDB, Poona, India.Google Scholar
  17. Niazi, I.A. and Alam, S., 1984, Regeneration of whole limbs from shank stumps in toad tadpoles treated with vitamin A, Roux’s Arch. Dev. Biol., 193:111–116.Google Scholar
  18. Niazi, I.A., Pescitelli, M.J. and Stocum, D.L., 1985, Stage dependent effects of retinoic acid on regenerating urodele limbs, Roux’s Arch. Dev. Biol., 194:355–363.Google Scholar
  19. Niazi, I.A. and Ratnasamy, C.S., 1984, Regeneration of whole limbs in toad tadpoles treated with retinol palmitate after the wound healing stage, J. Exp. Zool., 230:501–505.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Niazi, I.A. and Saxena, S., 1968, Inhibitory and modifying influence of excess of vitamin A on tail regeneration in Bufo tadpoles, Experientia, 24:852–853.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Niazi, I.A. and Saxena, S., 1978, Abnormal hindlimb regeneration in tadpoles of the toad, Bufo andersonii, exposed to excess vitamin A, Folia Biol. (Krakow), 26:3–11.Google Scholar
  22. Saxena, S., and Niazi, I.A., 1977, Effect of vitamin A excess on hindlimb regeneration in tadpoles of the toad, Bufo andersonii, Boulenger, Ind. J. Exp. Biol., 15:435–439.Google Scholar
  23. Scadding, S.R. and Maden, M., 1986, Comparison of the effects of vitamin A on limb development and regeneration in Xenopus laevis tadpoles, J. Embryol. exp. Morph., 91:35–53.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Schmidt, A.J. and Weary, M., 1963, The localization of acid phosphatase in the regenerating forelimb of adult newt, Diemyctilus viridescens, J. Exp. Zool., 152:101–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Sharma, K.K., 1982, Investigations on limb regeneration in tadpoles and froglets of the anuran Rana breviceps (Schneider), treated with vitamin A or electrically stimulated, Ph.D. Thesis, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, India.Google Scholar
  26. Sharma, K.K., and Anton, H.J., 1986, Biochemical and ultra-structural studies on vitamin A induced proximalization of limb regeneration in axolotl, in: “Progress in Developmental Biology”, Alan R. Liss, Inc., New York.Google Scholar
  27. Sharma, K.K. and Niazi, I.A., 1983, Effect of vitamin A on metamorphosis in tadpoles of Rana breviceps, Natl. Acad. Sci. Letters, 6:397–399.Google Scholar
  28. Sharma, K.K. and Niazi, I.A., 1988, Variety of regenerative responses of different proximo-distal segments of young and advanced Rana breviceps tadpoles treated with vitamin A after amputation, Monocrr. dev. Biol., 21:124–137.Google Scholar
  29. Stocum, D.L. and Thorns, S.D., 1984, Retinoic acid induced pattern completion in regenerating double anterior limbs of urodeles, J. Exp. Zool., 232:207–215.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Takase, S., Ong, D.E., and Chytil, F., 1979, Cellular retinol-binding protein allows specific interaction of retinol with the nucleus in vitro, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 76:2204–2208.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Takekoshi, S., 1964, The mechanism of vitamin A induced teratogenesis, J. Embryol. exp. Morph., 12:263–271.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Thorns, S.D. and Stocum, D.L., 1984, Retinoic acid induced pattern duplication in regenerating urodele limbs, Dev. Biol., 103:319–328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Vasan, N.S., 1981, Proteoglycan synthesis by sternal chondrocytes perturbed with vitamin A. J. Embryol. exp. Morph., 63:181–191.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Wallace, H., 1981, “Vertebrate Limb Regeneration”, John Wiley, Chichester.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. A. Niazi
    • 1
  • O. P. Jangir
    • 1
  • S. Alam
    • 1
  • K. K. Sharma
    • 1
  • C. S. Ratnassamy
    • 1
  1. 1.Developmental Biology Laboratory, Department of ZoologyUniversity of RajasthanJaipurIndia

Personalised recommendations