Scanning electron microscopy of epidermal cell migration in wound healing during limb regeneration in the adult newt, Notophthalmus viridescens

Am J Anat. 1978 Apr;151(4):539-55. doi: 10.1002/aja.1001510408.


The epidermal cells which migrate over the wound surface of the amputated limb of the adult newt were examined using the scanning electron microscope. Specimens were prepared routinely for scanning electron microscopy or were embedded in Epon 812 for light microscopic observations. A cuff of epidermal cells was seen at the edge of the wound, from which cells appeared to migrate over the wound surface. As early as five hours after transection of the limb, the basal layers of this cuff appeared to send out pseudopodial projections. These seemed to establish a physical contact with a fibrin-like substratum, which apparently served as a means of support for the migrating cells. Subsequently, the epidermal cells became elongate and had the appearance of streaming toward the center of the wound. Between 10 and 13 hours post-amputation, the cells in the central region of the stump were rounded up and some possessed microappendages resembling microplicae and microvilli. Throughout the entire period of wound coverage, the cells seemed to maintain contact with the fibrin network, which appeared to be the first structural element of wound architecture. As a result of these observations, the mechanism by which the epidermal cells migrate has been clarified.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Movement
  • Epidermal Cells*
  • Extremities / growth & development
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Regeneration*
  • Salamandridae / physiology*
  • Urodela / physiology*
  • Wound Healing*