Comprehensive timeline of mesodermal development in the quail small intestine



Background: To generate the mature intestine, splanchnic mesoderm diversifies into six different tissue layers each with multiple cell types through concurrent and complex morphogenetic events. Hindering the progress of research in the field is the lack of a detailed description of the fundamental morphological changes that constitute development of the intestinal mesoderm. Results: We used immunofluorescence and morphometric analyses of wild-type and Tg(tie1:H2B-eYFP) quail embryos to establish a comprehensive timeline of mesodermal development in the avian intestine. The following landmark features were analyzed from appearance of the intestinal primordium through generation of the definitive structure: radial compartment formation, basement membrane dynamics, mesothelial differentiation, mesenchymal expansion and growth patterns, smooth muscle differentiation, and maturation of the vasculature. In this way, structural relationships between mesodermal components were identified over time. Conclusions: This integrated analysis presents a roadmap for investigators and clinicians to evaluate diverse experimental data obtained at individual stages of intestinal development within the longitudinal context of intestinal morphogenesis. Developmental Dynamics 241:1678–1694, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals,Inc.