Expression and regulation of chicken fibroblast growth factor homologous factor (FHF)-4 at the base of the developing limbs

Mech Dev. 2000 Jul;95(1-2):101-12. doi: 10.1016/s0925-4773(00)00336-1.


Fibroblast growth factor homologous factors (FHFs) have been implicated in limb and nervous system development. In this paper we describe the expression of the cFHF-4 gene during early chicken development. cFHF-4 is expressed in the paraxial mesoderm, lateral ridge, and, most prominently, in the posterior-dorsal side of the base of each limb bud. The expression pattern of cFHF-4 at the base of the limbs is not altered by tissue grafts containing the zone of polarizing activity (ZPA), by implants of Shh-expressing cells, or by implants of beads containing retinoic acid, nor does it depend on the distal growth of the limb as it is not altered in limb buds that are surgically truncated. In three chicken mutants affecting limb patterning - talpid(2), limbless, and wingless - altered patterns of cFHF-4 expression are correlated with abnormal nerve plexus formation and altered patterns of limb bud innervation. Similarly, ectopic expression of cFHF-4 is correlated with a local induction of limb-like innervation patterns when beads containing FGF-2 are implanted in the flank. In these experiments, both ectopic innervation and ectopic expression of cFHF-4 in the flank were observed regardless of the size of the FGF-2-induced outgrowths. By contrast, ectopic expression of Shh and HoxD13 are seen only in the larger FGF-2-induced outgrowths. Taken together, these data suggest that cFHF-4 regulates or is coregulated with early events related to innervation at the base of the limbs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chick Embryo
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / embryology*
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / physiology
  • Extremities / embryology*
  • Extremities / physiology
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*


  • fibroblast growth factor 14
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors