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Development. 2007 Nov;134(22):4011-21. Epub 2007 Oct 17.

Reciprocal endoderm-mesoderm interactions mediated by fgf24 and fgf10 govern pancreas development.

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GIGA-Research-Unité de Biologie Moléculaire et Génie Génétique, Tour B34, Université de Liège, B-4000 Sart Tilman, Belgium.


In amniotes, the pancreatic mesenchyme plays a crucial role in pancreatic epithelium growth, notably through the secretion of fibroblast growth factors. However, the factors involved in the formation of the pancreatic mesenchyme are still largely unknown. In this study, we characterize, in zebrafish embryos, the pancreatic lateral plate mesoderm, which is located adjacent to the ventral pancreatic bud and is essential for its specification and growth. We firstly show that the endoderm, by expressing the fgf24 gene at early stages, triggers the patterning of the pancreatic lateral plate mesoderm. Based on the expression of isl1, fgf10 and meis genes, this tissue is analogous to the murine pancreatic mesenchyme. Secondly, Fgf10 acts redundantly with Fgf24 in the pancreatic lateral plate mesoderm and they are both required to specify the ventral pancreas. Our results unveil sequential signaling between the endoderm and mesoderm that is critical for the specification and growth of the ventral pancreas, and explain why the zebrafish ventral pancreatic bud generates the whole exocrine tissue.

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