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Mech Dev. 2000 Jul;95(1-2):55-66.

Involvement of fibroblast growth factor (FGF)18-FGF8 signaling in specification of left-right asymmetry and brain and limb development of the chick embryo.

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Department of Genetic Biochemistry, Kyoto University Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 46-29 Yoshida-Shimo-Adachi-cho, Sakyo-ku, 606-8501, Kyoto, Japan.


To elucidate roles of fibroblast growth factors (FGF)18 during vertebrate development, we examined expression patterns of Fgf18 in chick embryos and observed effects of FGF18 protein on the Hensen's node, isthmus, and limb buds. Fgf18 is expressed on the right side of the node before the expression of Fgf8 starts. FGF18 protein can induce expression of Fgf8 on the left side of the node, indicating involvement of both FGFs in specification of left-right asymmetry. In the developing brain, Fgf18 is expressed in the isthmus, following the Fgf8 expression. Since Fgf18 is induced ectopically during formation of the second midbrain by FGF8 protein, both FGFs also elaborate midbrain development. In the limb bud, Fgf18 is expressed in the mesenchyme and ectopic application of FGF18 protein inhibits bone growth in the limb. FGF18 is thus likely an endogenous ligand of FGF receptor 3, whose mutation causes bone dysplasia in humans. These results demonstrate that the FGF18-FGF8 signaling is involved in various organizing activities and the signaling hierarchies between FGF18 and FGF8 seem to change during patterning of different structures.

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