Studies have shown that fibroblast growth factor (Fgf) signalling is necessary for appendage regeneration, but its exact function and the ligands involved during regeneration have not yet been elucidated. Here, we performed comprehensive expression analyses and identified fgf20a and fgf3/10a as major Fgf ligands in the wound epidermis and blastema, respectively. To reveal the target cells and processes of Fgf signalling, we performed a transplantation experiment of mesenchymal cells that express the dominant-negative Fgf receptor 1 (dnfgfr1) under control of the heat-shock promoter. This mosaic knockdown analysis suggested that Fgf signalling is directly required for fin ray mesenchyme to form the blastema at the early pre-blastema stage and to activate the regenerative cell proliferation at a later post-blastema stage. These results raised the possibility that the early epidermal Fgf20a and the later blastemal Fgf3/10a could be responsible for these respective processes. We demonstrated by gain-of-function analyses that Fgf20a induces the expression of distal blastema marker junbl, and that Fgf3 promotes blastema cell proliferation. Our study highlights that Fgfs in the wound epidermis and blastema have distinct functions to regulate fin regeneration cooperatively.
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