Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nature. 2002 Apr 4;416(6880):527-31.

Fin development in a cartilaginous fish and the origin of vertebrate limbs.

Author information

1
Division of Cell and Developmental Biology, Wellcome Trust Biocentre, University of Dundee, Dow Street, Dundee DD1 5EH, UK. mtanaka@dundee.ac.uk

Abstract

Recent fossil finds and experimental analysis of chick and mouse embryos highlighted the lateral fin fold theory, which suggests that two pairs of limbs in tetrapods evolved by subdivision of an elongated single fin. Here we examine fin development in embryos of the primitive cartilaginous fish, Scyliorhinus canicula (dogfish) using scanning electron microscopy and investigate expression of genes known to be involved in limb positioning, identity and patterning in higher vertebrates. Although we did not detect lateral fin folds in dogfish embryos, Engrailed-1 expression suggests that the body is compartmentalized dorso-ventrally. Furthermore, specification of limb identity occurs through the Tbx4 and Tbx5 genes, as in higher vertebrates. In contrast, unlike higher vertebrates, we did not detect Shh transcripts in dogfish fin-buds, although dHand (a gene involved in establishing Shh) is expressed. In S. canicula, the main fin axis seems to lie parallel to the body axis. 'Freeing' fins from the body axis and establishing a separate 'limb' axis has been proposed to be a crucial step in evolution of tetrapod limbs. We suggest that Shh plays a critical role in this process.

PMID:
11932743
DOI:
10.1038/416527a
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group
    Loading ...
    Support Center