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J Embryol Exp Morphol. 1983 Dec;78:269-89.

The effect of local application of retinoic acid to the anterior margin of the developing chick limb.


Local application of retinoic acid to the chick limb bud produces effects that are dose and/or stage dependent. Low doses and/or old stages tend to give normal limbs or perhaps one or two supernumerary digits of a more anterior character. Medium doses and/or intermediate stages tend to give full mirror-image supernumeraries with two or even three extra digits including particularly digits of a posterior character. High doses and/or early stages give limbs in which supernumerary digits fail to form or are lost, and in which even host skeletal elements are missing or reduced. The effects are graded over the full dose and/or stage range. Various explanations are discussed in the context of the current hypotheses of limb development. We conclude that one should not necessarily interpret the results as evidence that retinoids normally play a part in the control of development or regeneration.

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