Dr. Tony Neff
Professor Emeritus, Anatomy and Cell Biology
I am interested in early development and patterning, wound healing and organ regeneration using amphibians as a model system.
Currently, I am involved in gene discovery research to identify genes that enhance or inhibit limb regeneration in amphibians. We are using Xenopus laevis as a model system because premetamorphic larvae are able to regenerate organs such as limbs, but as they approach metamorphosis (prometamorphosis stage), they lose that ability. Using subtraction screens and gene array screens we are identifying candidate genes that enhance hind limb regeneration at the regeneration-competent stage and candidate genes that inhibit hind limb regeneration at the regeneration-incompetent stage. We are characterizing the expression of these candidate genes during normal development of the animal and limbs and during wound healing and limb regeneration.
We have recently hypothesized that the changes in regenerative capacity correlate with changes in the immune system as the animal matures. The immature immune system allows for fetal wound healing and regeneration by tolerating the formation and proliferation of the regeneration blastema. The mature immune system favors rapid healing over regeneration, and therefore, results in fibrosis and scarring of wounds and in nonproductive regeneration
- King, M. W., A. W. Neff, and A. L. Mescher (2012) The developing Xenopus limb as a model for studies on the balance between inflammation and regeneration. (Anatomical Record, in press).
- King, M.W., A.W. Neff, and A.L. Mescher (2009) Proteomics analysis of regenerating amphibian limbs: Changes during the onset of regeneration. Internat. J. Devel. Biol. 53: 955-969.
- Werner SR, Mescher AL, Neff AW, King MW, Chaturvedi S, Duffin KL, Harty MW, Smith RC. (2007) Neural MMP-28 expression precedes myelination during development and peripheral nerve repair. Dev Dyn. Sep 6; [Epub ahead of print]
- Mescher AL,Wolf WL, Moseman EA, Hartman B, Harrison C, Nguyen E, and Neff AW (2007) Cells of cutaneous im.munity in Xenopus: Studies during larval development. Developmental and Comparative Immunology 31:383-393.
- Grow MW, Neff AW, Mescher AL, King MW. (2006) Global analysis of gene expression in Xenopus limbs during stage-dependent complete and incomplete regeneration. Dev. Dyn. 235:2667-2685.
- Neff AW, King MW, Harty MW, Nguyen T, Calley J, Smith RC, Mescher AL. (2005) Expression of Xenopus XlSALL4 during limb development and regeneration. Dev Dyn. 233(2):356-367
- Mescher AL, Neff AW (2005). Regenerative capacity and the developing immune system. Adv. Biochemical Engineering/ Biotechnology 93:39-66.
- Neff AW, King MW, Harty MW, Nguyen T, Calley J, Smith RC, Mescher AL. (2005) Expression of Xenopus XlSALL4 during limb development and regeneration. Dev Dyn. 233(2):356-367.
- Mescher AL, Neff AW (2005). Regenerative capacity and the developing immune system. Adv. Biochemical Engineering/ Biotechnology 93: 39-66.
- Mescher AL, Neff AW (2004). Loss of regenerative capacity: A trade-off for immune specificity? Cellscience (on-line Cellscience.com/reviews2)
- Goh E, Neff AW (2003). Effects of Fluoride on Xenopus embryo development; Food Chem Toxicol 41:1501-1508
- Harty, M., A.W. Neff, M.W. King, and A.L. Mescher (2003) Regeneration or scarring: An immunologic perspective. Devel. Dynamics 226: 268-279.
- King, M.W., T. Nguyen, J. Calley, M.W. Harty, M.C. Muzinich, A.L. Mescher, C. Chalfant, M. N’Cho, K. McLeaster, J. McEntire, D. Stocum, R.C. Smith, and A.W. Neff. (2003) Identification of genes expressed during Xenopus laevis limb regeneration by using subtractive hybridization. Devel. Dynamics 226: 398-409.
- Martin G, Goh E, Neff AW. (2002) Evaluation of the developmental toxicity of crocetin on Xenopus. Food and Chemical Toxicology; 40:959-964.
- Krishnan P, King MW, Neff AW, Sandusky GE, Bierman KL, Grinnell B and Smith RC (2001) Human truncated Smad 6 (Smad 6s) inhibits the BMP pathway in Xenopus laevis. Dev Growth Differ 43:115-132.