Dermal condensation formation in the chick embryo: requirement for integrin engagement and subsequent stabilization by a possible notch/integrin interaction

Dev Dyn. 2007 Mar;236(3):755-68. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.21080.


During embryonic development, feathers appear first as primordia consisting of an epidermal placode associated with a dermal condensation. When 7-day chick embryo dorsal skin fragments showing three rows of feather primordia are cultured, they undergo a complete reorganization, which involves the down-regulation of morphogenetic genes and dispersal of dermal fibroblasts, leading to the disappearance of primordia. This loss of organisation is followed by de novo differentiation events. We have used this model to study potential factors involved in the formation of dermal condensations. Activation of Integrins by extracellular Manganese or intracellular Calcium prevents the initial disappearance of the dermal condensations. New primordia formation occurs even after inhibition of the Notch pathway albeit with some fusion between primordia. In conclusion, dermal fibroblast migration requires beta1-Integrin whereas the stability of dermal condensations could depend on Notch/Integrin interaction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Movement / genetics
  • Cell Movement / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chick Embryo
  • Chickens
  • Dermis / cytology
  • Dermis / embryology
  • Dermis / metabolism*
  • Feathers / cytology
  • Feathers / embryology
  • Feathers / metabolism
  • Fibronectins / genetics
  • Fibronectins / metabolism
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Integrins / genetics
  • Integrins / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding
  • Receptors, Notch / genetics
  • Receptors, Notch / metabolism*


  • Fibronectins
  • Integrins
  • Receptors, Notch