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J Invest Dermatol. 1978 Oct;71(4):236-41.

The stability of vitamin A-induced metaplasia of mouse vibrissa follicles in vitro.


Tests were made of the stability of the previously described glandular morphogenesis and mucous metaplasia of embryonic mouse vibrissa follicles produced in vitro by excess vitamin A. The changes in individual follicles were observed in living tissue explants and serial sections. Upper lip skin of 13.5-day embryos underwent budding from vibrissa follicles to form branching glands which secreted mucus after 10--14 days in medium containing 4.7 microgram/ml retinol. If this medium was replaced with standard medium after 7 days, glandular morphogenesis and metaplasia continued unaffected, although some hair follicle bases returned to their original morphogenetic program. Similar results were obtained with skin of 13-day embryos treated with vitamin A (6.0 MG/ML) for only 3 days. The moderate degree of glandular morphogenesis in 15-day skin with vitamin A (4.7 microgram/ml) was not altered by the simultaneous addition of a high dose of cortisol (18 microgram/ml). It is suggested that the initiation of glandular morphogenesis of follicles differs from the initiation of mucous metaplasia in embryonic chick epidermis by vitamin A, in that it resembles a new secondary embryonic induction rather than a modulation of the epithelium.

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