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J Embryol Exp Morphol. 1984 Oct;83:213-23.

Motor innervation of proximally rotated chick embryo wings.


Chick embryo wing buds were rotated close to the lateral edge of the somites at stage 19, prior to limb innervation. Despite the abnormal orientation of the resulting limb, the motor pools to biceps and triceps were largely normal, as judged by electrical stimulation and horseradish peroxidase labelling just prior to hatching. The only abnormalities were a few caudal motoneurons innervating biceps and a few rostral motoneurons innervating triceps. This distribution is similar to that seen normally in young embryos before the completion of motoneurons death and it is suggested that the rotation may be keeping alive motoneurons which otherwise would die. The morphology of the brachial plexus supplying rotated wings was abnormal. It is concluded that axons growing into the limb bud from the spinal cord can compensate for reversal of both the limb axes and selectively innervate appropriate muscles. The result is consistent with others in which proximal reversal of one limb axis alone produced normal innervation.

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