Revealing the Dynamics of the Limb-Brain Axis During Axolotl Limb Regeneration

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.S. in Biology


Department of Biology


Pothitos Pitychoutis


The critical role that the nervous system plays in driving amphibian limb regeneration underscores the impact that the brain may also have in this fascinating process. Earlier studies have suggested that unique protein synthesis occurs in the brain of regenerating newts upon limb amputation and have also exposed the prominent regenerative potential of brain-derived neural extracts from adult newts and chicken embryos. In the context of the current thesis, we employed a combination of in vivo axolotl limb amputation models, neurochemical and high-throughput proteomics approaches, as well as fluorescent immunohistoDepartment of Chemistry to capture the temporal neuromolecular alterations that occur in the brain of regenerating axolotls. In our experimental setup, amputation and subsequent regeneration of the forelimbs affected the central proteomic signatures and neuroDepartment of Chemistry in a time-dependent fashion into the regeneration program. To our knowledge this is the first study to systematically investigate the molecular and cellular dynamics underlying the activation of the limb-brain axis during amphibian limb regeneration, laying the groundwork for considering the role of the brain in the regulation of limb regeneration activity.


Biology, Neurosciences, axolotl, limb regeneration, central nervous system, proteomics, neurotransmitter

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