The apical ectodermal ridge (AER) can be re-induced by wounding, wnt-2b, and fgf-10 in the chicken limb bud

Akira Satoh, Aki Makanae, Naoyuki Wada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Little effort has been made to apply the insights gained from studies of amphibian limb regeneration to higher vertebrates. During amphibian limb regeneration, a functional epithelium called the apical ectodermal cap (AEC) triggers a regenerative response. As long as the AEC is induced, limb regeneration will take place. Interestingly, similar responses have been observed in chicken embryos. The AEC is an equivalent structure to the apical ectodermal ridge (AER) in higher vertebrates. When a limb bud is amputated it does not regenerate; however, if the AER is grafted onto the amputation surface, damage to the amputated limb bud can be repaired. Thus, the AER/AEC is able to induce regenerative responses in both amphibians and higher vertebrates. It is difficult, however, to induce limb regeneration in higher vertebrates. One reason for this is that re-induction of the AER after amputation in higher vertebrates is challenging. Here, we evaluated whether AER re-induction was possible in higher vertebrates. First, we assessed the sequence of events following limb amputation in chick embryos and compared the features of limb development and regeneration in amphibians and chicks. Based on our findings, we attempted to re-induce the AER. When wnt-2b/. fgf-10-expressing cells were inserted concurrently with wounding, successful re-induction of the AER occurred. These results open up new possibilities for limb regeneration in higher vertebrates since AER re-induction, which is considered a key factor in limb regeneration, is now possible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-168
Number of pages12
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


  • AEC
  • AER
  • Amphibian
  • Chick
  • Limb development
  • Limb regeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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