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Mech Dev. 1998 Mar;72(1-2):159-68.

Chick Delta-1 gene expression and the formation of the feather primordia.

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  • 1Equipe Biologie de la Différenciation Epithéliale, UMR CNRS 5538, Laboratoire d'Etude de la Différenciation et de l'Adhérence Cellulaires, Institut Albert Bonniot, Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, France.


The chick dermis is known to control the formation of feathers and interfeathery skin in a hexagonal pattern. The evidence that the segregation of two types of fibroblasts involves Delta/Notch signalling is based on three facts. Rings of C-Delta-1-expressing fibroblasts precede and delimit the forming feather primordia. C-Delta-1 is uniformly expressed in the dermis of the scaleless mutant, which is almost entirely devoid of feathers. Feather development is inhibited by overexpression of C-Delta-1 in wild type dermis using a retroviral construct. We also show that the distribution of C-Delta-1 in the mutant dermis can be rescued by its association with a wild type epidermis, which acts as a permissive inducer, or by epidermal secreted proteins like FGF2.

Copyright 1998 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.

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