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Curr Top Dev Biol. 1998;36:1-35.

The avian embryo as a model in developmental studies: chimeras and in vitro clonal analysis.

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1
Institut d'Embryologie Cellulaire et Mol├ęculaire du CNRS, Coll├Ęge de France, Nogent-sur-Marne.

Abstract

The avian embryo is a model in which techniques of experimental embryology and cellular and molecular biology can converge to address fundamental questions of development biology. The first part of the chapter describes two examples of transplantation and cell labeling experiments performed in ovo. Thanks to the distinctive histologic and immunocytochemical characteristics of quail and chick cells, the migration and development of definite cells are followed in suitably constructed chimeric quail-chick embryos. Isotopic transplantations of neural tube portions between quail and chick, combined with in situ hybridization with a nucleic probe specific for a quail oligodendrocyte marker, allowed study of the origin and migration of oligodendroblasts in the spinal cord. Heterotopic transplantations of rhombomeres were performed to establish the degree of plasticity of these segments of the hindbrain regarding Hox gene expression, which was revealed by labeling with chick-specific nucleic probes. The second part describes in vitro cell cloning experiments devised to investigate cell lineage segregation and diversification during development of the NC. An original cloning procedure and optimal culture conditions permitted analysis of the developmental potentials of individual NC cells taken at definite migration stages. The results revealed a striking heterogeneity of the crest cell population, which appeared to be composed of precursors at different states of determination. Clonal cultures also provide a means to identify subsets of cells that are the target of environmental factors and to understand how extrinsic signals influence the development of responsive cells.

PMID:
9342519
DOI:
10.1016/s0070-2153(08)60493-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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