Conversion by retinoic acid of anterior cells into ZPA cells in the chick wing bud

Article metrics

Abstract

IN recent years there has been considerable interest in the role of retinoic acid (RA) in vertebrate-limb pattern formation. When RA is applied to the anterior of the chick wing bud, a mirror-image duplication of the limb pattern develops that is identical to the pattern resulting from grafts of posterior tissue (zone of polarizing activity, or ZPA)1. It has been proposed that position along the anterior-posterior axis in the chick limb is specified by a gradient of a diffusible factor produced by the ZPA2. The ZPA-mimicking action of RA has led to the hypothesis that exogenously applied RA acts by providing graded spatial information across the anterior-posterior limb axis3,4. An alternative interpretation is that RA changes anterior cells into ZPA cells, which in turn provide the actual pattern-duplicating stimulus3-5; there is already some preliminary evidence that this occurs5. A hybrid interpretation has also been suggested whereby ZPA cells are formed in response to RA exposure and then begin to release retinoids that act as graded spatial cues3. We have used a functional assay6 to test anterior chick wing-bud cells for ZPA activity after exposure to RA. The results of our studies indicate that the action of RA is to change anterior cells into ZPA cells. Further, our results indicate that it is unlikely that RA-treated anterior cells then begin producing RA in such a way as to provide a graded positional signal.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1

    Tickle, C., Alberts, B., Wolpert, L. & Lee, J. Nature 296, 564–566 (1982).

  2. 2

    Tickle, C., Summerbell, D. & Wolpert, L. Nature 254, 199–202 (1975).

  3. 3

    Tickle, C., Lee, J. & Eichele, G. Dev. Biol. 109, 82–95 (1985).

  4. 4

    Thaller, C. & Eichele, G. Nature 327, 625–628 (1987).

  5. 5

    Summerbell, D. & Harvey, F. Prog. Clin. biol. Res. 110, 109–118 (1983).

  6. 6

    Smith, J. C. J. Embryol. exp. Morph. 52, 105–113 (1979).

  7. 7

    Eichele, G., Tickle, C. & Alberts, B. M. J. Cell Biol. 101, 1913–1920 (1985).

  8. 8

    Honig, L. Nature 291, 72–73 (1981).

  9. 9

    Smith, S. M. et al. Development 107 (suppl.) 121–131 (1989).

  10. 10

    Tickle, C. Nature 289, 295–298 (1981).

  11. 11

    Gierer, A. & Meinhardt, H. Kybernetik 12, 30–39 (1972).

  12. 12

    Meinhardt, H. Development 107 (suppl.) 169–180 (1989).

  13. 13

    French, V., Bryant, P. J. & Bryant, S. V. Science 193, 969–981 (1976).

  14. 14

    Bryant, S. V. & Muneoka, K. Trends Genet. 2, 153–159 (1986).

  15. 15

    Javois, L. C. in Pattern Formation. A Primer in Developmental Biology (eds Malacinski, G. M. & Bryant, S. V.) 557–579 (Macmillan, New York. 1984).

  16. 16

    Maden, M. Nature 295, 672–675 (1982).

  17. 17

    Stocum, D. L. & Thoms, S. D. J. exp. Zool. 232, 207–215 (1984).

  18. 18

    Ludolf, D. C., Cameron, J. A. & Stocum, D. L. Devl Biol. 140, 41–52 (1990).

  19. 19

    Hamburger, V. & Hamilton, H. L. J. Morph. 88, 49–92 (1951).

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Wanek, N., Gardiner, D., Muneoka, K. et al. Conversion by retinoic acid of anterior cells into ZPA cells in the chick wing bud. Nature 350, 81–83 (1991) doi:10.1038/350081a0

Download citation

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.