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J Embryol Exp Morphol. 1979 Aug;52:49-62.

The development of hepatogenic potency in the endoderm of quail embryos.


Hepatogenic potency of the endoderm is detectable in the anterior half of the endoderm of quail embryos older than 2-somite stage when endodermal fragments are cultured with or without heterologous chick mesenchymes, in the coelomic cavity of 3-day chick embryos. On the other hand, the posterior half of the endoderm never has hepatogenic potency. The hepatogenic potency of the endoderm is gradually stabilised with increasing age. However, expression of hepatogenesis can be affected when the endoderm is associated with inductively active digestive tract mesenchymes. Mesenchyme taken from the presumptive cardiac region ('cardiac' mesenchyme) of chick embryos is necessary for the uncommitted anterior endoderm to acquire hepatogenic potency, and this effect is specific for the 'cardiac' mesenchyme. The 'cardiac' mesenchyme, however, fails to induce hepatic epithelium in the allantoic endoderm, which can differentiate heterotypically when cultured in combination with digestive tract mesenchymes. The evidence presented in this study suggests that the effect of 'cardiac' mesenchyme on the acquisition of hepatogenic potency in the endoderm is limited.

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