The mouse secreted frizzled-related protein 5 gene is expressed in the anterior visceral endoderm and foregut endoderm during early post-implantation development

Gene Expr Patterns. 2003 Oct;3(5):681-4. doi: 10.1016/s1567-133x(03)00091-7.


The anterior visceral endoderm (AVE) plays an important role in anterior-posterior axis formation in the mouse. The AVE functions in part by expressing secreted factors that antagonize growth factor signaling in the proximal epiblast. Here we report that the Secreted frizzled-related protein 5 (Sfrp5) gene, which encodes a secreted factor that can antagonize Wnt signaling, is expressed in the AVE and foregut endoderm during early mouse development. At embryonic day (E) 5.5, Sfrp5 is expressed in the visceral endoderm at the distal tip region of the embryo and at E6.5 in the AVE opposite the primitive streak. In Lim1 embryos, which lack anterior neural tissue and sometimes form a secondary body axis, Sfrp5-expressing cells fail to move towards the anterior and remain at the distal tip of E6.5 embryos. When compared with Dkk1, which encodes another secreted Wnt antagonist molecule present in the visceral endoderm, Sfrp5 and Dkk1 expression overlap but Sfrp5 is expressed more broadly in the AVE. Between E7.5 and 8, Sfrp5 is expressed in the foregut endoderm underlying the cardiac mesoderm. At E8.5, Sfrp5 is expressed in the ventral foregut endoderm that gives rise to the liver. Additional domains of Sfrp5 expression occur in the dorsal neural tube and in the forebrain anterior to the optic placode. These findings identify a gene encoding a secreted Wnt antagonist that is expressed in the extraembryonic visceral endoderm and anterior definitive endoderm during axis formation and organogenesis in the mouse.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Patterning
  • Embryonic Development
  • Endoderm / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics*
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Mice / embryology*
  • Mice / genetics*
  • Pregnancy


  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Sfrp5 protein, mouse