Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Nicole Theodosiou Napier




limb, nerve, regeneration, skin, wound


Urodele amphibians are unique among organisms for being the only vertebrate with the ability to fully regenerate a functioning limb after amputation. The axolotl salamander, Ambystoma mexicanum, is a widely used urodele model for studying regeneration and the different signals controlling it. An important factor in the initiation of the regenerative process is the presence of the nerve at the wound site. Previous studies have shown that a nerve redirected to the site of a superficial skin wound, combined with a skin graft from the opposite limb, results in the initiation of regeneration and the formation of an ectopic limb. In order to elucidate the role of the nerve signals in regeneration, a nerve was redirected to a skin wound and placed between a foil barrier and the skin graft. The foil barrier eliminated all signaling interactions between the nerve and the wound site, effectively isolating the nerve signal. The limb growth was subsequently observed to determine if the isolated nerve signal was sufficient to induce limb regeneration, or if other signal were required. Results suggest that the addition of a foil barrier to disrupt signaling interactions in a regenerating limb results in regenerative failure and significantly less limb bud outgrowth.