FGF-10, a member of the fibroblast growth factor family, is expressed in mesodermally derived cell populations during embryogenesis. During normal ocular development, FGF-10 is expressed in the perioptic mesenchyme adjacent to the Harderian and lacrimal gland primordia. In this report, we provide evidence that FGF-10 is both necessary and sufficient to initiate glandular morphogenesis. Lens-specific expression of FGF-10 was sufficient to induce ectopic ocular glands within the cornea. In addition, lacrimal and Harderian glands were not seen in FGF-10 null fetuses. Based on these results we propose that FGF-10 is an inductive signal that initiates ocular gland morphogenesis.
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.