Logo of pnasPNASInfo for AuthorsSubscriptionsAboutThis Article
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Sep 17, 1996; 93(19): 10246–10249.

Fibroblast growth factor 2 can replace ectodermal signaling for feather development.


The initiation and morphogenesis of cutaneous appendages depend on a series of reciprocal signaling events between the epithelium and mesenchyme of the embryonic skin. In the development of feather germs, early dermal signals induce the formation of epidermal placodes that in turn signal the mesoderm to form dermal condensations immediately beneath them. We find a spatially and temporally restricted pattern of transcription for the genes that encode fibroblast growth factor (FGF) 2 and FGF receptor (FGFR) 1 in developing feather germs of the chicken embryo. FGF-2 expression is restricted to the epidermal placodes, whereas FGFR-1 expression is limited to the dermal condensations. Transcription of these genes could not be detected in skins of scaleless (sc/sc) embryos that fail to develop feathers as a result of an ectodermal defect. Treatment of sc/sc skins with FGF-2 results in the formation of feathers at the site of application of the growth factor and the induced feathers express FGFR-1 in their dermal condensations. Thus, we have established FGF-2 as an epidermal signal in early feather germ formation. The observation that FGF-2 can rescue the mutant phenotype of sc/sc embryos suggests that FGF-2 either is, or is downstream from, the signal that the sc/sc mutant ectoderm fails to generate.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (1.7M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Images in this article

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Fallon JF, López A, Ros MA, Savage MP, Olwin BB, Simandl BK. FGF-2: apical ectodermal ridge growth signal for chick limb development. Science. 1994 Apr 1;264(5155):104–107. [PubMed]
  • Niswander L, Tickle C, Vogel A, Booth I, Martin GR. FGF-4 replaces the apical ectodermal ridge and directs outgrowth and patterning of the limb. Cell. 1993 Nov 5;75(3):579–587. [PubMed]
  • Riddle RD, Johnson RL, Laufer E, Tabin C. Sonic hedgehog mediates the polarizing activity of the ZPA. Cell. 1993 Dec 31;75(7):1401–1416. [PubMed]
  • Vainio S, Karavanova I, Jowett A, Thesleff I. Identification of BMP-4 as a signal mediating secondary induction between epithelial and mesenchymal tissues during early tooth development. Cell. 1993 Oct 8;75(1):45–58. [PubMed]
  • Patterson LT, Dressler GR. The regulation of kidney development: new insights from an old model. Curr Opin Genet Dev. 1994 Oct;4(5):696–702. [PubMed]
  • Peters K, Werner S, Liao X, Wert S, Whitsett J, Williams L. Targeted expression of a dominant negative FGF receptor blocks branching morphogenesis and epithelial differentiation of the mouse lung. EMBO J. 1994 Jul 15;13(14):3296–3301. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Cunha GR. Role of mesenchymal-epithelial interactions in normal and abnormal development of the mammary gland and prostate. Cancer. 1994 Aug 1;74(3 Suppl):1030–1044. [PubMed]
  • Mayerson PL, Fallon JF. The spatial pattern and temporal sequence in which feather germs arise in the white Leghorn chick embryo. Dev Biol. 1985 Jun;109(2):259–267. [PubMed]
  • Chuong CM. The making of a feather: homeoproteins, retinoids and adhesion molecules. Bioessays. 1993 Aug;15(8):513–521. [PubMed]
  • Noveen A, Jiang TX, Ting-Berreth SA, Chuong CM. Homeobox genes Msx-1 and Msx-2 are associated with induction and growth of skin appendages. J Invest Dermatol. 1995 May;104(5):711–719. [PubMed]
  • Goetinck PF, Sekellick MJ. Observations on collagen synthesis, lattice formation, and morphology of scaleless and normal embryonic skin. Dev Biol. 1972 Aug;28(4):636–648. [PubMed]
  • Song HK, Sawyer RH. Dorsal dermis of the scaleless (sc/sc) embryo directs normal feather pattern formation until day 8 of development. Dev Dyn. 1996 Jan;205(1):82–91. [PubMed]
  • Jessell TM, Melton DA. Diffusible factors in vertebrate embryonic induction. Cell. 1992 Jan 24;68(2):257–270. [PubMed]
  • Zúiga Mejía Borja A, Meijers C, Zeller R. Expression of alternatively spliced bFGF first coding exons and antisense mRNAs during chicken embryogenesis. Dev Biol. 1993 May;157(1):110–118. [PubMed]
  • Pasquale EB, Singer SJ. Identification of a developmentally regulated protein-tyrosine kinase by using anti-phosphotyrosine antibodies to screen a cDNA expression library. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1989 Jul;86(14):5449–5453. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Noji S, Koyama E, Myokai F, Nohno T, Ohuchi H, Nishikawa K, Taniguchi S. Differential expression of three chick FGF receptor genes, FGFR1, FGFR2 and FGFR3, in limb and feather development. Prog Clin Biol Res. 1993;383B:645–654. [PubMed]
  • Novel G. Feather pattern stability and reorganization in cultured skin. J Embryol Exp Morphol. 1973 Dec;30(3):605–633. [PubMed]
  • Stern CD, Yu RT, Kakizuka A, Kintner CR, Mathews LS, Vale WW, Evans RM, Umesono K. Activin and its receptors during gastrulation and the later phases of mesoderm development in the chick embryo. Dev Biol. 1995 Nov;172(1):192–205. [PubMed]
  • Levin M, Johnson RL, Stern CD, Kuehn M, Tabin C. A molecular pathway determining left-right asymmetry in chick embryogenesis. Cell. 1995 Sep 8;82(5):803–814. [PubMed]
  • Niswander L, Jeffrey S, Martin GR, Tickle C. A positive feedback loop coordinates growth and patterning in the vertebrate limb. Nature. 1994 Oct 13;371(6498):609–612. [PubMed]
  • Crossley PH, Minowada G, MacArthur CA, Martin GR. Roles for FGF8 in the induction, initiation, and maintenance of chick limb development. Cell. 1996 Jan 12;84(1):127–136. [PubMed]
  • Vaahtokari A, Aberg T, Jernvall J, Keränen S, Thesleff I. The enamel knot as a signaling center in the developing mouse tooth. Mech Dev. 1996 Jan;54(1):39–43. [PubMed]
  • Dono R, Zeller R. Cell-type-specific nuclear translocation of fibroblast growth factor-2 isoforms during chicken kidney and limb morphogenesis. Dev Biol. 1994 Jun;163(2):316–330. [PubMed]
  • Perantoni AO, Dove LF, Karavanova I. Basic fibroblast growth factor can mediate the early inductive events in renal development. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1995 May 9;92(10):4696–4700. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America are provided here courtesy of National Academy of Sciences


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


  • PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles
  • Substance
    PubChem Substance links

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...