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J Exp Zool. 1989 Jan;249(1):50-4.

Mammalian limb bud development: in situ fate maps of early hindlimb buds.

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  • 1Developmental Biology Center, University of California, Irvine 92717.


Fate maps of the developing mouse hindlimb bud have been constructed for the first time using exo utero surgical techniques and carbon particle injections. Such fate maps demonstrate that the limb develops in a proximal to distal manner as a result of distal expansion. The anterior-posterior extent of the limb bud develops asymmetrically with the posterior half giving rise to slightly more of the digit pattern (digits 3-5) than the anterior half (digits 1 and 2). We found no evidence for the occurrence of extensive cellular rearrangements during limb development, and the free limb bud appears to give rise to only zeugo- and autopodial elements with the stylopod arising in the body wall proximal to the bud. These results are consistent with our current understanding of limb development in lower vertebrates and also provide detailed information that will be useful for future limb studies in mammals.

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