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Mech Dev. 1995 Jan;49(1-2):13-22.

Nucleo-cytoplasmic translocation and secretion of fibroblast growth factor-2 during avian gastrulation.

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EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany.


The expression and distribution of the fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2 or bFGF) proteins during early avian embryogenesis has been analysed in detail. Three FGF-2 protein isoforms of 18.5, 20.0 and 21.5 kDa are expressed during gastrulation of chicken embryos. Using whole mount immunohistochemistry, these proteins were found to be predominantly nuclear in prestreak blastodiscs during mesoderm induction. Distribution of positive cells in the epiblast was mosaic, whereas all cells of the forming hypoblast expressed the FGF-2 proteins. During primitive streak formation, the proteins started to translocate to the cytoplasm in epiblast cells but remained nuclear in the hypoblast. The FGF-2 proteins became predominantly cytoplasmic in all cells during the subsequent developmental stages. Their highest levels were detected in endodermal cells underlying Hensen's node and the newly formed notochord, the dorsal apex of all epiblast cells and, most interestingly, in the extra-cellular basal lamina separating the epiblast from newly formed mesoderm. Heparin and suramin treatment of these advanced embryos (stage 4) revealed a dose-dependent inhibition on the regression of Hensen's node and formation of mesodermal derivatives such as somites. The results are discussed with respect to current models on FGF-mediated functions during vertebrate mesoderm induction and regionalization.

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