Anatomy and Embryology

, Volume 199, Issue 6, pp 499–508

Trefoil factor family (TFF)-domain peptides in the mouse: embryonic gastrointestinal expression and wounding response

  • W. R. Otto
  • Ketan Patel

DOI: 10.1007/s004290050247

Cite this article as:
Otto, W. & Patel, K. Anat Embryol (1999) 199: 499. doi:10.1007/s004290050247


 Trefoil factor family (TFF)-domain peptides are mucin-associated molecules that play a role in maintaining gastrointestinal (GI) epithelial integrity. They are expressed in specific patterns in adult mammals, but their embryonic expression has not been clarified. Developmental TFF mRNA in mice was studied by non-isotopic whole mount in situ hybridization. All TFF’s (1–3) were seen in the stomach from E13 to E16. TFF1 was gastric at E13, then spread to the small intestine (E15) and caecum on E16. From E19 TFF1 expression was gastric. TFF2 was gastric at E13, and absent in lower intestines till E17 when duodenal, small intestinal and caecal expression was seen. Afterwards, TFF2 was confined to the gastric region. TFF3 was in the stomach at E13. On E15 and 16 TFF3 was ubiquitous, except for E15 caecum. From E17, TFF3 was confined to small intestine and the distal gut. Wounds: E17 and 18 GI tissues were subjected to incisional wounds in vitro. TFF1 induction was seen only in stomach, after as short as 30 min incubation. TFF2 was only induced at E18 in the stomach. TFF3 was induced within 5 min in the rectum. No change in overall expression patterns were seen after wounding. Conclusions: TFF expression is developmentally controlled in the GI tract, and appears before mucous cell differentiation in several tissues. Gene regulation is predicted to be under different control(s) in utero compared with post-natal life. The response to incisional wounding of fetal GI tissue shows differences to the adult.

Key words TFF-domain peptideEmbryologyDevelopmentWoundGastrointestinal tract

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. R. Otto
    • 1
  • Ketan Patel
    • 2
  1. 1.Histopathology Unit, Imperial Cancer Research Fund, 44, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PX, UK e-mail:, Fax: +44-171-269-3491GB
  2. 2.Department of Animal & Microbial Science, University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading RG6 6AG, UKGB