MRC-5, human embryonic lung fibroblasts, induce the duplication of the developing chick limb bud

Sayuri Yonei, Koji Tamura, Eiki Koyama, Tsutomu Nohno, Sumihare Noji, Hiroyuki Ide

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The anteroposterior (A-P) axis pattern of the chick limb is likely to be controlled by a small region of mesenchyme cells at the posterior margin of the limb bud (ZPA, zone of polarizing activity). In this study, we found that MRC-5 fibroblast cells had the capacity for duplicated-pattern formation of the chick limb along the A-P axis when grafted to the anterior region of the limb bud. MRC-5 cells were effective only during pre-limb bud stages, and the leg bud was more responsive than the wing bud. Grafted cells remained at the base of the limb bud when limb development proceeded. These results suggest that the products of MRC-5 cells are involved in three possible processes of duplicated-pattern formation: induction of the polarizing activity; maintenance of this activity, which is present weakly at pre-limb bud stages; and determination of A-P axis as the ZPA factor(s). By allowing the use of a small number of cells of embryonic tissues with polarizing activity, the analysis of duplicate formation with the MRC-5 cell line provides a powerful tool for elucidating the molecular nature of the ZPA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-253
Number of pages8
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1993 Nov 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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