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Scientific reports

Mesodermal origin of median fin mesenchyme and tail muscle in amphibian larvae.


PMID 26086331

Abstract

Mesenchyme is an embryonic precursor tissue that generates a range of structures in vertebrates including cartilage, bone, muscle, kidney, and the erythropoietic system. Mesenchyme originates from both mesoderm and the neural crest, an ectodermal cell population, via an epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). Because ectodermal and mesodermal mesenchyme can form in close proximity and give rise to similar derivatives, the embryonic origin of many mesenchyme-derived tissues is still unclear. Recent work using genetic lineage tracing methods have upended classical ideas about the contributions of mesodermal mesenchyme and neural crest to particular structures. Using similar strategies in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), and the South African clawed toad (Xenopus laevis), we traced the origins of fin mesenchyme and tail muscle in amphibians. Here we present evidence that fin mesenchyme and striated tail muscle in both animals are derived solely from mesoderm and not from neural crest. In the context of recent work in zebrafish, our experiments suggest that trunk neural crest cells in the last common ancestor of tetrapods and ray-finned fish lacked the ability to form ectomesenchyme and its derivatives.