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

Expression of cell-adhesion molecules in embryonic induction. I. Morphogenesis of nestling feathers.

The potential relationship of cell adhesion to embryonic induction during feather formation was examined by immunohistochemical analysis of the spatiotemporal distribution of three cell-adhesion molecules (CAMs), neural CAM (N-CAM), liver CAM (L-CAM), and neuron-glia CAM (Ng-CAM), and of substrate molecules (laminin and fibronectin) in embryonic chicken skin. The N-CAM found at sites of embryonic induction in the feather was found to be similar to brain N-CAM as judged by immuno-cross-reactivity, migratory position in PAGE, and the presence of embryonic to adult conversion. In contrast to the N-CAM found in the brain, however, only one polypeptide of Mr 140,000 was seen. N-CAM-positive dermal condensations were distributed periodically under L-CAM-positive feather placodes at those sites where basement membranes are known to be disrupted. After initiation of induction, L-CAM-positive placode cells became transiently N-CAM-positive. N-CAM was asymmetrically concentrated in the dorsal region of the feather bud, while fibronectin was concentrated in the ventral region. During feather follicle formation, N-CAM was expressed in the dermal papilla and was closely apposed to the L-CAM-positive papillar ectoderm, while the dermal papilla showed no evidence of laminin or fibronectin. The collar epithelium was both N-CAM- and L-CAM-positive. During the formation of the feather filament, N-CAM appeared periodically and asymmetrically on basilar cells located in the valleys between adjacent barb ridges. In contrast to the two primary CAMs, Ng-CAM was found only on nerves supplying the feather and the skin. These studies indicate that at each site of induction during feather morphogenesis, a general pattern is repeated in which an epithelial structure linked by L-CAM is confronted with periodically propagating condensations of cells linked by N-CAM.[1]


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