Int. J. Dev. Biol. 46: 975 - 982 (2002)
© UPV/EHU Press

The mouse polydactylous mutation, luxate (lx), causes anterior shift of the anteroposterior border in the developing hindlimb bud.

Yukari Yada, Shigeru Makino, Sadao Chigusa-Ishiwa and Toshihiko Shiroishi

Ochanomizu University, Tokyo, Japan.

ABSTRACT Pattern formation along the anterior-posterior axis of the vertebrate limb is established upon activation of Sonic Hedgehog (SHH) in the zone of polarizing activity (ZPA). Since many mouse mutants with preaxial polydactyly show ectopic expression of Shh at the anterior margin of the limb buds, it has been thought to be a primary defect caused by these mutations. We show here that the mouse mutation luxate (lx) exhibits dose-dependent reduction in the size of the Fgf8 expression domain in the ectoderm from the initial stage of limb development. This aberration was independent of Fgf10 expression in the limb mesenchyme. Shh was induced in the mesenchyme underlying the posterior end of the Fgf8 expression domain, indicating an anterior shift of Shh expression in lx hindlimb buds. Prior to the ectopic induction of Shh, the expression domains of genes downstream from Shh, namely dHAND, Gli1, Ptc and Gre, which are normally expressed in posterior mesenchyme of limb buds, expanded anteriorly on the lx hindlimb buds. Conversely, the expression domains of anterior mesenchymal markers such as Gli3and Alx4 decreased in size. Thus, ectopic Shh is not a primary defect of the lx mutation. Rather, our results indicate that the lx mutation affects the positioning of the anteroposterior border in developing hindlimb buds.