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Gene Expr Patterns. 2005 Aug;5(6):750-5.

Expression of Dll4 during mouse embryogenesis suggests multiple developmental roles.

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CIISA, Faculdade de Medicina VeterinĂ¡ria, R. Prof. Cid dos Santos, 1300-477 Lisboa, Portugal.


Delta-Notch signalling regulates cell-fate decisions in a variety of tissues in diverse organisms, through cell-to-cell interactions. Here, we report the expression pattern of a Delta gene family member, Delta-like 4 (Dll4). Dll4 expression was analyzed in mouse embryos and selected adult organs by monitoring beta-galactosidase (beta-gal) expression from a lacZ reporter cassette inserted downstream of the Dll4 promoter, which allowed for high sensitivity and single cell resolution. Expression was detected in several tissues where Notch signalling is known to control cell-fate decisions, like the vascular system, the nervous system, the gastrointestinal system, and the thymus. Throughout embryonic cardiovascular development, Dll4 expression was seen only on endocardial cells and endothelial cells of the arteries, arterioles, and capillaries, being absent from vascular smooth muscle cells and veins. In the nervous system, expression was detected in the brain, neural tube, retina, and, for the first time, in the olfactory epithelium, vomeronasal organs and para-aortic bodies. Extensive Dll4 expression was also observed in the gut. This detailed expression analysis reveals new clues for both endothelial and non-endothelial Dll4 function in different organs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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