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Dev Genet. 1996;19(1):9-25.

Cellular analysis of limb development in the mouse mutant hypodactyly.

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Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, University College London, United Kingdom.


The limb defect in the mouse Hypodactyly (Hd) affects only the distal structures. Heterozygotes (Hd/+) lack all or part of the distal phalanx and the terminal claw of digit on the hindlimbs; mice homozygous (Hd/Hd) for the mutation have just one digit on each of the four limbs. Early limb development in the mutant appears normal and a change in morphology can only be detected later. Limb buds of Hd/+ and Hd/Hd embryos become reduced in width, with Hd/Hd buds becoming very pointed instead of rounded. This change in bud shape is correlated with an increase in cell death anteriorly in Hd/+ hindlimbs and both anteriorly and posteriorly in Hd/Hd fore- and hindlimb buds. The apical ectodermal ridge is very pronounced in pointed Hd/Hd limb buds. Mesenchyme cells from the Hd/Hd mutant in culture show a cell-autonomous change in behaviour and less cartilage differentiates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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