Aerobic glycolysis is important for zebrafish larval wound closure and tail regeneration

Claire A Scott, Tom J Carney, Enrique Amaya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The underlying mechanisms of appendage regeneration remain largely unknown and uncovering these mechanisms in capable organisms has far-reaching implications for potential treatments in humans. Recent studies implicate a requirement for metabolic reprogramming reminiscent of the Warburg effect during successful appendage and organ regeneration. As changes are thus predicted to be highly dynamic, methods permitting direct, real-time visualization of metabolites at the tissue and organismal level, would offer a significant advance in defining the influence of metabolism on regeneration and healing. We sought to examine whether glycolytic activity was altered during larval fin regeneration, utilising the genetically encoded biosensor, Laconic, enabling the spatiotemporal assessment of lactate levels in living zebrafish. We present evidence for a rapid increase in lactate levels within minutes following injury, with a role of aerobic glycolysis in actomyosin contraction and wound closure. We also find a second wave of lactate production, associated with overall larval tail regeneration. Chemical inhibition of glycolysis attenuates both contraction of the wound and regrowth of tissue following tail amputation, suggesting aerobic glycolysis is necessary at two distinct stages of regeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberwrr.13050
JournalWound Repair and Regeneration
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2022


  • Warburg effect
  • appendage regeneration
  • laconic
  • lactate
  • metabolism
  • wound healing


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