A hedgehog homolog is involved in muscle formation and organization of Sepia officinalis (mollusca) mantle



Our study focuses on the possible involvement of the Hedgehog (Hh) pathway in the differentiation of striated muscle fibres in cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) mantle. We show here that both an hh-homolog signalling molecule and its receptor Patched (Ptc) are expressed in a specific population of myoblasts which differentiates into the radial fast fibres. To evaluate the functional significance of hh expression in developing cuttlefish, we inhibited the Hedgehog signalling pathway by means of cyclopamine treatment in cuttlefish embryos. In treated embryos, the gross anatomy was considerably compromised, displaying an extremely reduced mantle with a high degree of morphological abnormalities. TUNEL and BrdU assays showed that the absence of an hh signalling induces apoptosis and reduces the proliferation rate of muscle precursors. We therefore hypothesize a possible involvement of Hh and its receptor Ptc in the formation of striated muscle fibres in cuttlefish. Developmental Dynamics 237:659–671, 2008. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.