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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Disrupting the establishment of polarizing activity by teratogen exposure.

Between days 9.5 and 10, the forelimb buds of developing murine embryos progress from stage 1 which are just beginning to express shh and whose posterior mesoderm has only weak polarizing activity to stage 2 limbs with a distinguishable shh expression domain and full polarizing activity. We find that exposure on day 9.5 to teratogens that induce the loss of posterior skeletal elements disrupts the polarizing activity of the stage 2 postaxial mesoderm and polarizing activity is not subsequently restored. The ontogeny of expression of the mesodermal markers shh, ptc, bmp2, and hoxd-12 and 13, as well as the ectodermal markers wnt7a, fgf4, fgf8, cx43, and p21 occurred normally in day 9.5 teratogen-exposed limb buds. At stage 3, the treated limb apical ectodermal ridge usually possessed no detectable abnormalities, but with continued outgrowth postaxial deficiencies became evident. Recombining control, stage matched limb bud ectoderm with treated mesoderm prior to ZPA grafting restored the duplicating activity of treated ZPA tissue. We conclude that in addition to shh an early ectoderm-dependent signal is required for the establishment of the mouse ZPA and that this factor is dependent on the posterior ectoderm.[1]


  1. Disrupting the establishment of polarizing activity by teratogen exposure. Bell, S.M., Schreiner, C.M., Scott, W.J. Mech. Dev. (1999) [Pubmed]
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