Submission Date


Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access




Ellen Dawley

Committee Member

Ellen Dawley

Committee Member

Victor Tortorelli

Committee Member

Kate Goddard

Department Chair

Beth Bailey

Project Description

Humans are not capable of regenerating their spinal cord in response to injury, unlike some animals. However many animals are capable of regenerating their spinal cord as an embryo. If age affects the spinal cord regeneration of animals that cannot normally regenerate their spinal cord in adulthood, how does it affect animals that maintain this ability? This study examined the effect of age on the regeneration rate of the spinal cord in an amphibian, Ambystoma mexicanum, using three age groups: juvenile, median age, and subadult group. Members of each group were anesthetized, and had a portion of their tail amputated. After one week of regeneration, the animals were injected with BrdU, and amputated once again. The tissue was embedded in paraffin and labeled with anti-BrdU, then visualized under confocal microscopy. Immunolabeling was analyzed using ImageJ and statistics were done using SPSS. There was a significant decrease in regeneration rate between the sub-adult and median age groups, but no significance between the youngest and subadult groups, contrary to previous research. Therefore, it cannot be concluded that age has an effect on the regeneration rate of the spinal cord in Ambystoma mexicanum.