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Development. 1995 May;121(5):1399-410.

Multiple roles for FGF-3 during cranial neural development in the chicken.

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MRC Brain Development Programme, UMDS Guy's Hospital, London, UK.


FGF-3 has been implicated in the development of the hindbrain and otocyst in vertebrate embryos. Since the chicken embryo offers a favourable system in which to study the development of these structures, we have isolated and characterised cDNAs for chicken Fgf-3 and determined its pattern of expression in chick embryos from stage 3 (primitive streak) to stage 25 (early organogenesis). Within the developing cranial neural tube, Fgf-3 exhibits dynamic spatial and temporal expression. During extension of the head process, RNA is detected in the midline of the developing neural plate. In neurulating embryos, transcripts are observed initially in rhombomeres 4 and 5 of the hindbrain and later, in rhombomere 6. During hindbrain development, expression is lost from these rhombomeres, but becomes restricted to rhombomere boundaries, providing an intracellular marker which distinguishes a population of cells within boundary regions. Fgf-3 expression is elevated in ventral and medial boundary regions and is greatly reduced in dorsal parts. Studies of regenerating rhombomere boundaries show that Fgf-3 expression is induced in reforming boundaries when even-numbered rhombomere tissue is grafted next to odd, but not when like is juxtaposed to like. Fgf-3 disappears from boundary regions just prior to the loss of the morphological boundaries suggesting a boundary-associated function. Other sites of expression have also been identified. At early stages of development Fgf-3 is expressed in the epiblast and mesendoderm of the primitive streak, in mesoderm lateral to the streak and in Hensen's node. In older embryos transcripts are detected in the endoderm of the pharyngeal pouches, the ectoderm of the second and third pharyngeal arches and the stomodeum. Expression was also detected in the segmental plate and in the posterior half of the three most-recently generated somites.

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