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Mech Dev. 2002 Oct;118(1-2):241-5.

Transition of Hox expression during limb cartilage development.

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Division of Biological Science, Graduate School of Science, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8602, Japan.


Hox genes belonging to the Abd-B subfamily of the HoxA and HoxD clusters play a crucial role in cartilage formation both in patterning and growth/differentiation phases during limb development. We re-examined the expression profiles of Hoxa-13, Hox-d13, Hoxa-11 and Hoxd-11 during the cartilage growth/differentiation phase of limb cartilage formation. The expression profiles of these Hox genes were analyzed by in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry on serial sections by comparing the expression patterns with well-characterized signaling molecules, e.g. Bmp-2, -4, Patched (Ptc) and Indian Hedgehog (IHH). In contrast to earlier reports, these Hox genes were expressed in the mesenchymal cell layer closely adjacent to the growing cartilage, but not in the perichondrium of the cartilage. This result prompts us to reconsider the mode of Hox function during cartilage growth and differentiation phase.

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