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Mech Dev. September 1, 2011; 128 (7-10): 327-41.

Fgf is required to regulate anterior-posterior patterning in the Xenopus lateral plate mesoderm.

Deimling SJ , Drysdale TA .

Given that the lateral plate mesoderm (LPM) gives rise to the cardiovascular system, identifying the cascade of signalling events that subdivides the LPM into distinct regions during development is an important question. Retinoic acid (RA) is known to be necessary for establishing the expression boundaries of important transcription factors that demarcate distinct regions along the anterior posterior axis of the LPM. Here, we demonstrate that fibroblast growth factor (Fgf) signalling is also necessary for regulating the expression domains of the same transcription factors (nkx2.5, foxf1, hand1 and sall3) by restricting the RA responsive LPM domains. When Fgf signalling is inhibited in neurula stage embryos, the more posterior LPM expression domains are lost, while the more anterior domains are extended further posterior. The domain changes are maintained throughout development as Fgf inhibition results in similar domain changes in late stage embryos. We also demonstrate that Fgf signalling is necessary for both the initiation of heart specification, and for maintaining heart specification until overt differentiation occurs. Fgf signalling is also necessary to restrict vascular patterning and create a vascular free domain in the posterior end of the LPM that correlates with the expression of hand1. Finally, we show cross talk between the RA and Fgf signalling pathways in the patterning of the LPM. We suggest that this tissue wide patterning event, active during the neurula stage, is an initial step in regional specification of the LPM, and this process is an essential early event in LPM patterning.

PubMed ID: 21763769
Article link: Mech Dev.
Grant support: MOP-74663 Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Genes referenced: aldh1a2 aplnr cyp26a1 etv2 fgf4 fgf8 fgfr1 foxf1 frzb2 hand1 hoxc10 isl1 nkx2-5 sall3 spry2 t tnni3 vegfa

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