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Cell Mol Biol (Noisy-le-grand). 1999 Jul;45(5):505-16.

Vertebrate left-right asymmetry: old studies and new insights.

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  • 1Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, Institute of Toxicology and Genetics, Germany. martin.blum@itg.fzk.de

Abstract

During vertebrate embryonic development, the organs of the chest and abdomen, heart, lung and gastrointestinal tract, acquire characteristic asymmetric positions with respect to the left-right body axis. In the beginning of the 20th century Hans Spemann and his co-workers described manipulations of amphibian embryos which resulted in inversion of organ laterality in a predictable manner. Hedwig Wilhelmi concluded from these experiments that determinants on the left side of the embryo specify laterality, and Meyer postulated that a mediator should transfer this positional information to the forming heart. In this review we discuss the classical experiments in the light of recent advances in the molecular understanding of left-right development, with a focus on the mediator role of the homeobox gene Pitx2.

PMID:
10512183
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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