Send to

Choose Destination
Dev Biol. 1990 Jul;140(1):83-92.

Transient expression of a cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycan (syndecan) during limb development.

Author information

Department of Biology, University of Iowa, Iowa City 52242.


Syndecan is an integral membrane proteoglycan that contains both heparan sulfate and chondroitin sulfate chains and that links the cytoskeleton to interstitial extracellular matrix components, including collagen and fibronectin. Immunohistochemistry with a monoclonal antibody directed to the core protein of the syndecan ectodomain has been used to analyze the distribution of this proteoglycan in the developing mouse limb bud and in high-density cultures of limb mesenchyme cells. By Day 9 of gestation when the limb buds are just apparent, syndecan is detected on cells throughout the limb region, including both ectodermal and mesenchymal components. This distribution does not change as the limb bud elongates along its proximodistal axis, except for its reduction in the apical ectodermal ridge. By Day 11, the intensity of immunofluorescence in the central core decreases relative to other regions. By Day 13 immunostaining is lost in the regions destined for chondrogenesis and myogenesis but persists in the limb ectoderm and peripheral and distal mesenchyme. In the limb mesenchyme cell cultures, syndecan is initially undetected, but is found throughout the culture by 24 hr. With further culture the antigen becomes reduced in chondrogenic foci and in association with myogenic cells. When chick limb ectoderm is placed on the high-density cultures, immunoreactivity in the mouse mesenchyme is enhanced suggesting that epithelial-mesenchymal interactions modulate syndecan expression in the limb bud. Based on analysis of 35S-labeled syndecan from the cultures, syndecan from limb mesenchyme cells contains more glycosaminoglycan chains and is larger in size than the previously described polymorphic forms of syndecan from various epithelia. The high affinity of syndecan for components of the extracellular matrix and its distribution in the early limb bud are consistent with a role in maintaining the morphologic integrity of the limb bud during the period of initiation and rapid outgrowth, and in preventing the onset of chondrogenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center