Spatiotemporal control of cell cycle acceleration during axolotl spinal cord regeneration

Emanuel Cura Costa, Leo Otsuki, Aida Rodrigo Albors, Elly M. Tanaka, Osvaldo Chara (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Axolotls are uniquely able to resolve spinal cord injuries, but little is known about the mechanisms underlying spinal cord regeneration. We previously found that tail amputation leads to reactivation of a developmental-like program in spinal cord ependymal cells (Rodrigo Albors et al., 2015), characterized by a high-proliferation zone emerging 4 days post-amputation (Rost et al., 2016). What underlies this spatiotemporal pattern of cell proliferation, however, remained unknown. Here, we use modelling, tightly linked to experimental data, to demonstrate that this regenerative response is consistent with a signal that recruits ependymal cells during ~85 hours after amputation within ~830mm of the injury. We adapted FUCCI technology to axolotls (AxFUCCI) to visualize cell cycles in vivo. AxFUCCI axolotls confirmed the predicted appearance time and size of the injury-induced recruitment zone and revealed cell cycle synchrony between ependymal cells. Our modeling and imaging move us closer to understanding bona fide spinal cord regeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Early online date14 May 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 May 2021


  • computational biology
  • developmental biology
  • systems biology

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