Local extrinsic signals determine muscle and endothelial cell fate and patterning in the vertebrate limb

Dev Cell. 2002 Oct;3(4):533-45. doi: 10.1016/s1534-5807(02)00291-5.


Both the muscle and endothelium of the vertebrate limb derive from somites. We have used replication-defective retroviral vectors to analyze the lineage relationships of these somite-derived cells in the chick. We find that myogenic precursors in the somites or proximal limb are not committed to forming slow or fast muscle fibers, particular anatomical muscles, or muscles within specific proximal/distal or dorsal/ventral limb regions. Somitic endothelial precursors are uncommitted to forming endothelium in particular proximal/distal or dorsal/ventral limb regions. Surprisingly, we also find that myogenic and endothelial cells are derived from a common somitic precursor. Thus, local extrinsic signals are critical for determining muscle and endothelial patterning as well as cell fate in the limb.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Lineage*
  • Chick Embryo
  • Endothelium / embryology*
  • Extremities / embryology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / embryology*
  • Organogenesis*
  • Signal Transduction