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Development. 1995 Mar;121(3):661-9.

Myogenic cell migration from somites is induced by tissue contact with medial region of the presumptive limb mesoderm in chick embryos.

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  • 1Division of Cell Biology, National Institute of Neuroscience, Tokyo, Japan.


It is known that myogenic cells in limb buds are derived from somites. In order to examine the potential of the limb primordium (presumptive limb somatopleure) to induce myogenic cell migration, we transplanted chick presumptive limb somatopleure to the flank region of an embryo, a region that does not normally contribute myogenic cells to the limb. Somitic cell migration was examined using a vital labeling technique. When the presumptive limb somatopleure was transplanted and was in contact with the host flank somite, somitic-cell migration toward the graft was observed. The labeled somitic cells within the graft were identified as myogenic cells in two ways: first, we found that N-cadherin-expressing cells appeared in the graft. Second, after 3 further days of incubation, the somitic cells formed dorsal and ventral masses and expressed sarcomeric myosin heavy chain within the graft. Cell migration occurred only when the somite was in contact with the medial region of the presumptive limb somatopleure. When the somite was not in contact with the limb somatopleure, or when the somite was in contact with the lateral region of the limb somatopleure, migration did not occur. These observations indicate that the potential to induce myogenic cell migration is restricted to the medial region of the presumptive limb somatopleure and that tissue contact is required.

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