Skip to main content

Molecular bases of the dorso-ventral patterning in the vertebrate limb


Research objectives and content
The developing limb provides an excellent system for studying the signals that direct embryonic growth and pattern formation. The limb bud is initially formed from the body wall mesenchyme and is rimmed by an Apical Ectodermal Ridge (AER). AER directs the outgrowth of the distal mesenchyme called Progress Zone (PZ) and maintains the polarizing activity of posterior mesenchyme called Zone of Polarizing Activity (ZPA). A major challenge is to understand the molecular bases of the axial patterning. Recent advances have been made for the antero-posterior and the proximo-distal axes but less is known about the dorso-ventral patterning. Thus, the project deals with the origin of the dorso-ventral organization of the limb bud. To address this question, we plan to use embryos in which we will have mis-expressed En-l) a known ventral ectoderm marker. We will graft these embryos with FGF beads in order find out whether extra-limbs can develop and we will study gene expression in this context (e.g. Wnt-7a, Wnt-5a, Dlx-2, Bmp-2...). Conversely, we will also mis-express an anti-sense of En-l and do the same kind of experiments. Moreover, we will map the dorso-ventral fate of cells along the body axis, and correlate this with gene expression. The project should provide new insights into the gene cascades controlling dorso-ventral axis.
Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
The host institute has a great expertise in limb development and appropriate tools, probes or growth factor expressing cells are already available or could be easily obtained from laboratories that collaborate with it. The expertize in handling chick embryo and the training in special skills had been provided to me by Dr C. Tickle personally. Furthermore, the collaboration with Pr. A. Lumsden's lab should allow me to acquire new techniques. I will therefore acquire a valuable grounding in both theoretical and practical skills in Developmental Biology that will be very useful for my future career in France.


Gower Street
United Kingdom

Participants (1)

Not available