, Volume 211, Issue 1 Supplement, pp 87-93
Date: 26 Sep 2006

Expression pattern of BMPs during chick limb development

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In vertebrates, BMPs (bone morphogenic proteins) play critical roles in establishing the basic embryonic body plan and are involved in the development of a large variety of organs and tissues. Here, we analyzed the expression pattern of various BMPs (2, 4, 5 and 7) by whole mount in situ hybridization during chick limb development. In limb, expression of BMPs suggests evolutionary conserved mechanisms of BMP-dependent differentiation between lower and higher vertebrates. During the early developmental stages, BMP-2 and BMP-7 are expressed in the posterior distal mesenchyme leaving a less prominent expression anteriorly. BMP-4 is initially expressed in the anterior mesenchyme and spreads later to the whole mesenchyme leaving a stronger expression at the anterior side. From HH-stage 25, expression of BMP-4 is observed in the anterior–posterior margins of the limb bud. The BMPs 2, 4 and 7 are expressed strongly in the AER, whereas BMP-5 is expressed as a weak signal in the distal mesoderm during the early stages of limb development. Later from HH-stage 25 onwards, BMP-5 is expressed in the dorsal and ventral muscular mass of the developing limb. As digits become identifiable, expression of BMPs are observed in the interdigital mesenchyme and can also be detected along the contours of the developing phalanges and at the distal tips of the digits. All these BMPs are found to be expressed in the developing feather buds from day 8 onwards.