Int. J. Dev. Biol. 40: 715 - 718 (1996)
© UPV/EHU Press

Activin treated urodele ectoderm: a model experimental system for cardiogenesis.

T Ariizumi, S Komazaki, M Asashima and G M Malacinski

Department of Biology, University of Tokyo, Japan.

ABSTRACT The tissue interactions which comprise the inductive phenomena associated with urodele heart morphogenesis are relatively well understood. In order to take full advantage of the experimental potential of this system formulation of an in vitro tissue culture system would be very helpful. Herein are described conditions for culturing Cynops pyrrhogaster early gastrula ectoderm tissue in the presence of the peptide growth factor activin. Two-week old explant cultures frequently displayed beating heart-like rudiments within. The beating frequency was measured and the extent to which cytodifferentiation mimicked normal heart differentiation assessed. Both measurements provided optimistic assessments which should encourage further exploitation of this model system.