gms | German Medical Science

65th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)

German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)

11 - 14 May 2014, Dresden

Reconstitution of the central and peripheral nervous system from the implanted clonal neurospheres in salamander

Meeting Abstract

  • Levan Mchedlishvili - Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden, Cluster of Excellence, University of Technology Dresden, Dresden, Germany; Neurochirurgische Klinik Universitätsklinikum Carl Gustav Carus der Technischen Universität Dresden, Dresden
  • Vladimir Mazurov - Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden, Germany
  • Elly M. Tanaka - Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden, Cluster of Excellence, University of Technology Dresden, Dresden, Germany

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. 65. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (DGNC). Dresden, 11.-14.05.2014. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2014. DocDI.12.05

doi: 10.3205/14dgnc186, urn:nbn:de:0183-14dgnc1863

Published: May 13, 2014

© 2014 Mchedlishvili et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Objective: The salamander regenerates complex structures, such as an entire limb or tail. The tail consists of muscle, spinal cord, and vertebrae that are organized in repeated segments. Our goals were to determine whether the nervous system and particularly its periodic segmented pattern are reconstructed faithfully during regeneration of the tail and to identify cells that regenerate the central and peripheral nervous systems. Here, we show that the segmental organization of the nervous system is regenerated faithfully and that a single stem cell regenerates the central nervous system. These findings may help us understand why such regeneration does not occur in mammals. The neural stem cells, harboring this potential, can be isolated from the animal and cultured under the suspension conditions. After 2-3 weeks in vitro they will proliferate and form the floating aggregates of the spherical shape, so-called neurospheres. Reimplanted back into the animal, the neurospheres can efficiently integrate in the spinal cord lesion and contribute to the following spinal cord regeneration events.

Method: Isolation and Culture of Neurospheres.

Results: We cultured neural stem cells from the spinal cord of GFP-expressing axolotls. Bulk culturing of these neural stem cells and their implantation showed that these cells are competent to regenerate the central and peripheral nervous system. To refine our experiments further, we expanded single neural stem cells in culture to see if they could reconstitute the nervous system. We observed that the descendents of a single cell could contribute to all parts of the central spinal cord. We did not see any contribution to the dorsal root ganglia from clonally expanded cells.

Conclusions: Identifying the stem cell pools responsible for regenerating the axolotl spinal cord is an important step in understanding how this process occurs in this regenerative vertebrate. Our evidence compels us to conclude that it occurs through the actions of a highly potent stem cell. An interesting question is why this process is blocked in nonregenerating vertebrates such as mammals.