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Dev Biol. 1988 Apr;126(2):327-30.

Ectodermal influence on physiological cell death in the posterior necrotic zone of the chick wing bud.

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Department of Zoology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville 37996.


The phenomenon of "programmed cell death" in the posterior necrotic zone (PNZ) of the chick wing bud was reexamined. Prospective PNZs (pPNZs) were excised from stage 18-21 donor wings and observed for signs of necrosis in vitro. Cell death was quantified by a chromium-51 release assay. Prospective PNZs from the youngest donors (stage 18) showed no signs of death above control levels, while necrosis increased in vitro with increasing donor age. Cell death in the PNZ at stage 24 could be inhibited by removing the overlying ridge at stage 20 or 21. These results suggest that cell death in the PNZ is not rigidly determined early in development as previous studies suggest, but remains responsive to the cellular environment until shortly before the cells die.

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