Int. J. Dev. Biol. 48: 107 - 115 (2004)
© UBC Press

The different steps of skin formation in vertebrates.

Isabel Olivera-Martinez, Jean P Viallet, Frederic Michon, David J Pearton and Danielle Dhouailly

Equipe Biologie de la Différenciation Epithéliale, UMR CNRS 5538, Institut Albert Bonniot, Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, France.

ABSTRACT Skin morphogenesis occurs following a continuous series of cell-cell interactions which can be subdivided into three main stages: 1- the formation of a dense dermis and its overlying epidermis in the future appendage fields (macropattern); 2- the organization of these primary homogeneous fields into heterogeneous ones by the appearance of cutaneous appendage primordia (micropattern) and 3- cutaneous appendage organogenesis itself. In this review, we will first show, by synthesizing novel and previously published data from our laboratory, how heterogenetic and heterospecific dermal/epidermal recombinations have allowed us to distinguish between the respective roles of the dermis and the epidermis. We will then summarize what is known from the work of many different research groups about the molecular signaling which mediates these interactions in order to introduce the following articles of this Special Issue and to highlight what remains to done.


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