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J Embryol Exp Morphol. 1981 Aug;64:73-85.

Location of pre-hepatic cells in the early developmental stages of quail embryos.


The location of the pre-hepatic cells which can respond to the inductive influence of the cardiac mesoderm and differentiate to the hepatic epithelium was investigated in quail embryos between the unincubated and 8-somite stages. These cells were found to exist in the whole area of the blastoderm of unincubated and prestreak stages. At the short-streak stage, just before the beginning of gastrulation, pre-hepatic cells are confined to the anterior part of the primitive streak. During gastrulation, prehepatic cells invaginate through this area of the primitive streak and enter the endoblastic layer. They are found in the anterior half of the endoblastic layer as well as in the lower half of the anterior part of the primitive streak at the medium- to definitive-streak stages. After gastrulation, they are consistently found only in the anterior half of the endoblastic layer. From the 1-somite stage, at least up to the 8-somite stage, the pre-hepatic cells are localized in the endoderm, anterior to the level of the 3rd somite. Since the pre-hepatic cells or their progenitors were always found within the definitive endoblast which invaginates from the epiblast during gastrulation, it can be presumed that the pre-hepatic cells originate from the epiblast, invaginate through the anterior part of the primitive streak between the short- and the definitive-streak stage, and enter the definitive endoblast.

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