Volume 42 Issue 6
Nov.  2021
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Zhe-Lun Peng, Bin-Xu Yin, Rui-Min Ren, Yin-Long Liao, Hao Cai, Heng Wang. Altered metabolic state impedes limb regeneration in salamanders. Zoological Research, 2021, 42(6): 772-782. doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2021.186
Citation: Zhe-Lun Peng, Bin-Xu Yin, Rui-Min Ren, Yin-Long Liao, Hao Cai, Heng Wang. Altered metabolic state impedes limb regeneration in salamanders. Zoological Research, 2021, 42(6): 772-782. doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2021.186

Altered metabolic state impedes limb regeneration in salamanders

doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2021.186
#Authors contributed equally to this work
Funds:  This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31771617) and HZAU-AGIS Cooperation Fund (SZYJY2021009)
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  • Corresponding author: E-mail: wangheng@mail.hzau.edu.cn
  • Received Date: 2021-09-01
  • Accepted Date: 2021-10-12
  • Available Online: 2021-10-13
  • Publish Date: 2021-11-18
  • Salamanders are unique among tetrapods in their ability to regenerate the limbs throughout life. Like other poikilothermic amphibians, salamanders also show a remarkable capacity to survive long periods of starvation. Whether the physiological reserves necessary for tissue regeneration are preserved or sacrificed in starved salamanders is unknown. In the current study, we maintained Iberian ribbed newts (Pleurodeles waltl) under extreme physiological stress to assess the extent of regeneration and identify the molecular and cellular changes that may occur under such conditions. After 19 months of complete food deprivation, the animals exhibited extensive morphological and physiological adaptations but remained behaviorally active and vigilant. Autophagy was elevated in different tissues and the transformed gut microbiota indicated remodeling of the intestinal tract related to autophagy. Upon limb amputation in animals starved for 21 months, regeneration proceeded with progenitor cell proliferation and migration, leading to limb blastema formation. However, limb outgrowth and patterning were substantially attenuated. Blockage of autophagy inhibited cell proliferation and blastema formation in starved animals, but not in fed animals. Hence, tissue autophagy and the regenerative response were tightly coupled only when animals were under stress. Our results demonstrate that under adverse conditions, salamanders can exploit alternative strategies to secure blastema formation for limb regeneration.
  • #Authors contributed equally to this work
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