The histogenetic capacity of tissues in the caudal end of the embryonic axis of the mouse

J Embryol Exp Morphol. 1984 Aug;82:253-66.


The caudal end of the embryonic axis consists of the primitive streak and the tail bud. Small fragments of this caudal tissue were transplanted from mouse embryos of various developmental stages to the kidney capsule in order to test their histogenetic capacity. The variety of mature tissues obtained from these small fragments was similar to that obtained by grafting a larger caudal portion of the embryo. Initially, the grafted tissue broke up into loose masses of embryonic mesenchyme and this was later re-organized into more compact tissues and into cysts that were lined with various types of epithelia. After 14 days in the ectopic site, grafted tissues coming from embryos of the primitive-streak, the early-somite and the forelimb-bud stages differentiated into structures that has presumably originated from the three embryonic germ layers. Many of these structures were related to the caudal region of the adult body, such as the mid- and hindgut segments and urogenital derivatives. The histogenetic capacity for endodermal tissues and urogenital organs was lost when the grafted tissue consisted entirely of the tail bud of the hindlimb-bud-stage embryos. The behaviour of the caudal tissues suggested that (1) the primordia for the various parts of embryonic body were derived from a small progenitor population in the primitive streak and the tail bud, and (2) the histogenetic capacity of this population changed during development.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development
  • Gastrula / physiology*
  • Gastrula / transplantation
  • Kidney
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Morphogenesis
  • Teratoma / ultrastructure
  • Time Factors