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Dev Biol 2002 Aug 01;2481:52-67. doi: 10.1006/dbio.2002.0717.
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Primitive and definitive blood share a common origin in Xenopus: a comparison of lineage techniques used to construct fate maps.

Primitive blood constitutes the ventralmost mesoderm in amphibians, and its cleavage-stage origin reveals important clues about the orientation of the dorsal/ventral axis in the embryo. In recent years, investigators employing various lineage-labeling strategies have reported disparate results for the origin of primitive blood in Xenopus [W. D. Tracey, Jr., M. E. Pepling, G. H. Thomsen, and J. P. Gergen (1998). Development 125, 1371-1380; M. C. Lane W. C. Smith (1999). Development 126, 423-434; K. R. Mills, D. Kruep, and M. S. Saha (1999). Dev. Biol. 209, 352-368; A. Ciau-Uitz, M. Walmsley, and R. Patient (2000). Cell 102, 787-796]. These discrepancies must be resolved in order to elucidate early embryonic patterning mechanisms in vivo. We directly compared two of the techniques used to determine the origin of the ventral blood islands and primitive blood, injection of either beta-galactosidase mRNA or conjugated dextrans, by coinjecting both tracers simultaneously into individual blastomeres in cleavage-stage embryos. We find that dextrans label progeny efficiently, while beta-galactosidase activity is not present in many of the progeny of an injected blastomere, suggesting that mRNA fails to diffuse throughout a blastomere. This result demonstrates that beta-galactosidase mRNA fails to meet the criterion for a true lineage label, namely efficient detection of the progeny of a blastomere, and raises questions about interpretations based on mapping the ventral blood islands using Lac Z mRNA as a tracer. We examined the origins of the ventral blood islands and primitive blood from the vegetal region of the marginal zone in regularly cleaving embryos by coinjecting both reporters into C-tier blastomeres. Our results demonstrate that both the ventral blood islands and primitive blood routinely arise from all C-tier blastomeres. Our data, in combination with published mapping results for the dorsal aorta, demonstrate that primitive and definitive blood do not have separate origins at the 32-cell stage in Xenopus. In addition, these results support a proposal to align the dorsal/ventral axis of the mesendoderm with the animal/vegetal axis in pregastrula Xenopus.

PubMed ID: 12142020
Article link: Dev Biol

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: hba3 kcnt1 tbx2

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