Dorsal versus ventral scales and the dorsoventral patterning of chick foot epidermis

Authors

  • Fabrice Prin,

    1. Equipe Biologie de la Différenciation Epithéliale, UMR CNRS 5538, LEDAC, Institut Albert Bonniot, Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, France
    Current affiliation:
    1. MRC Centre for Developmental Biology, King's College London, 4th North, New Hunts House, Guy's Campus, London SE1 1UL, UK
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  • Cairine Logan,

    1. MRC Centre for Developmental Biology, King's College London, New Hunts House, Guy's Campus, London, United Kingdom
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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  • Deana D'Souza,

    1. Department of Anatomy, University College London, Gower Street, London, United Kingdom
    2. Division of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Dundee, Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom
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  • Monica Ensini,

    1. MRC Centre for Developmental Biology, King's College London, New Hunts House, Guy's Campus, London, United Kingdom
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  • Danielle Dhouailly

    Corresponding author
    1. Equipe Biologie de la Différenciation Epithéliale, UMR CNRS 5538, LEDAC, Institut Albert Bonniot, Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, France
    • Equipe Biologie de la Différenciation Epithéliale, UMR CNRS 5538, LEDAC, Institut Albert Bonniot, Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, France
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Abstract

The dorsal and ventral scales of the chick foot can be distinguished morphologically and molecularly: the dorsal oblong overlapping scuta expressing both α and β keratins, and the ventral roundish nonprotruding reticula expressing only α keratins. The question arises how En-1 and Lmx1, whose role in dorsoventral limb patterning has been well established, can affect skin morphogenesis, which occurs 8 to 12 days later. Forced expression of En-1 or of Lmx1 in the hindlimb have, respectively, as expected, a ventralizing or a dorsalizing effect on skin, leading to the formation of either reticula-type or scuta-type scales on both faces. In both cases, however, the scales are abnormal and even glabrous skin without any scales at all may form. The normal inductive interactions between dermis and epidermis are disturbed after En-1 or Lmx1 misexpression. Effectively, while Lmx1 endows the dermal precursors of the ventral region with scuta inducing ability, En-1 blocks the competence of the dorsal epidermis to build scuta. Developmental Dynamics 229:564–578, 2004. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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