Effects of localized application of transforming growth factor beta 1 on developing chick limbs

Dev Biol. 1991 May;145(1):164-73. doi: 10.1016/0012-1606(91)90222-o.


The effects of exogenous transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) on chick limb development in vivo were studied by implanting carriers of TGF-beta 1 into developing wing buds. Agarose beads were soaked in solutions containing TGF-beta 1 and implanted into wing buds at stages 18 to 27. Localized application of TGF-beta 1 to distal regions of the wing bud caused specific skeletal elements in the limb to be reduced or absent. The particular proximal-distal limb element affected depended on the stage at which the bead was implanted. Position of the bead in the anterior-posterior axis also influenced the pattern of affected structures. Experiments in which TGF-beta 1 beads were implanted and then removed at 24- and 48-hr intervals indicate that there are specific periods during which a skeletal element appears to be sensitive to the effects of exogenous TGF-beta 1. In a few cases, beads placed in proximal positions in later staged limbs resulted in formation of ectopic cartilage near the bead. These results suggest that exposure to exogenous TGF-beta 1 in vivo influences the development of skeletal elements in the chick limb in a stage- and position-dependent manner.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone and Bones / abnormalities
  • Cartilage / drug effects
  • Cartilage / embryology*
  • Cartilage / ultrastructure
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Chick Embryo / cytology
  • Chick Embryo / drug effects
  • Chick Embryo / physiology*
  • Osteogenesis / drug effects
  • Recombinant Proteins / pharmacology
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / pharmacology*
  • Wings, Animal / embryology


  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta