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Somites are segments of paraxial mesoderm that give rise to a multitude of tissues in the vertebrate embryo. Many decades of intensive research have provided a wealth of data on the complex molecular interactions leading to the formation of various somitic derivatives. In this review, we focus on the crucial role of the somites in building the body wall and(More)
The study of the morphogenetic cell movements underlying myotome formation in the chick embryo has led to the emergence of highly controversial models. Here we report a real-time cell lineage analysis of myotome development using electroporation of a GFP reporter in newly formed chick somites. Confocal analysis of cell movements demonstrates that myotome(More)
In ovo electroporation is a well-established method of gene transfer into neural and mesenchymal tissue in chick embryos. Electroporation of somites, however, has been hampered by low efficiency due to technical difficulties. Here, we present a powerful technique to electroporate avian somites and subpopulations of somitic cells at high efficiency in ovo.(More)
Regulation of VEGFR-2 (Quek1) is an important mechanism during blood vessel formation. In the paraxial mesoderm, Quek1 expression is restricted to the lateral portion of the somite and later to sclerotomal cells surrounding the neural tube. By grafting of either intermediate mesoderm or BMP4 beads into the paraxial mesoderm, we show that BMP4 is a positive(More)
Although limb development has been a subject of intense research over the last decades, development of the girdles has been poorly investigated. Particularly, a detailed analysis of pelvic girdle development including functional data is not available to date. Here, we describe the early steps of the formation of mesenchymal and cartilaginous anlagen of the(More)
Basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factors have been shown to be important regulatory proteins for tissue determination and differentiation. We cloned the chicken homologue of the gene of the murine Twist-related bHLH protein Dermo-1, which we named cDermo-1, and analyzed its sequence and embryonic expression. Our sequence data suggest a decisive(More)
During somite maturation, the ventral half of the epithelial somite disintegrates into the mesenchymal sclerotome, whereas the dorsal half forms a transitory epithelial sheet, the dermomyotome, lying in between the sclerotome and the surface ectoderm. The dermomyotome is the source of most of the mesodermal tissues in the body, giving rise to cell types as(More)
The dorsal aorta is the earliest formed intraembryonic blood vessel. It is composed of an inner lining consisting of endothelial cells and an outer wall consisting of smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and fibrocytes. Aortic SMCs have been suggested to arise from several developmental lineages. Cephalic neural crest provides SMCs of the proximal part of the aorta,(More)
Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling is known to be involved in multiple inductive events during embryogenesis including the development of amniote skin. Here, we demonstrate that early application of BMP-2 to the lateral trunk of chick embryos induces the formation of dense dermis, which is competent to participate in feather development. We show(More)
Reciprocal epithelio-mesenchymal interactions between the prospective epidermis and the underlying dermis are the major driving forces in the development of skin appendages. Feather development is initiated by a still unknown signal from the dermis in feather-forming skin. The morphological response of the ectoderm to this signal is the formation of an(More)