Expression of Msx-2 during development, regeneration, and wound healing in axolotl limbs

J Exp Zool. 1998 Dec 15;282(6):715-23. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-010x(19981215)282:6<715::aid-jez7>;2-f.


Msx genes are transcription factors that are expressed during embryogenesis of developing appendages in regions of epithelial-mesenchymal interactions. Various lines of evidence indicate that these genes function to maintain embryonic tissues in an undifferentiated, proliferative state. We have identified the axolotl homolog of Msx-2, and investigated its expression during limb development, limb regeneration, and wound healing. As in limb buds of higher vertebrates, axolotl Msx-2 is expressed in the apical epidermis and mesenchyme; however, its expression domain is more extensive, reflecting the broader region of the apical epidermal cap in amphibians. Msx-2 expression is downregulated at late stages of limb development, but is reexpressed within one hour after limb amputation. Msx-2 is also reexpressed during wound healing, and may be essential in the early stages of initiation of the limb regeneration cascade.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Ambystoma
  • Animals
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Genes, Homeobox / genetics*
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Limb Buds / embryology
  • Morphogenesis / genetics
  • Regeneration / genetics*
  • Regeneration / physiology
  • Wound Healing / genetics*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • MSX2 protein