Experimental analysis of the origin of the wing musculature in avian embryos

Anat Embryol (Berl). 1977 Mar 30;150(2):171-86. doi: 10.1007/BF00316649.


Interspecific grafts of somites, as well as parts of the somatic plate mesoderm, have been made between quail and chick embryos (stages 12--14 H. H.) at the level of the prospective wing bud in order to examine the relationship between somites and wing bud myogenesis. The stability of the natural quail nuclear labelling makes it possible to follow the developmental fate of grafted mesodermal cells in the host embryo. Embryos examined after subsequent incubation periods of 3--7 days show the following distribution of somatic and somitic cells within the wing bud: as soon as the three zones of different cell density within the mesoderm can be distinguished, cells of somitic origin are limited to the prospective myogenic area which is made up of mixed population of somatic and somitic cells, whereas the prospective chondrogenic area as well as the subectodermal zone only consists of cells originated from the somatic plate mesoderm. After further incubation, single muscle blastema are present which were also seen to be a mixture of somatic and somitic cells. The cells of muscular bundles are of somitic origin, while the muscle connective tissue cells are derived from the somatic plate mesoderm. After grafting into the coelomic cavity or on the chorio-allantoic membrane, fragments of the somatic plate mesoderm previously isolated from quail embryos (stage 14 H.H.) at the level of the prospective wing bud exhibit well developed skeletal elements, but fail to differentiate any musculature. These experimental investigations support previous evidence for a somitic origin of wing bud myogenic cells. Histological and scanning electron microscopic studies of the brachial somites and the adjacent somatic plate mesoderm of chick embryo (stages 13--15 H.H.) reveal that migration of still undifferentiated somitic cells into the brachial somatic plate mesoderm begins to take place in embryos at stage 14.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Birds / embryology*
  • Chick Embryo
  • Mesoderm / transplantation
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Muscles / embryology*
  • Quail
  • Time Factors
  • Transplantation, Heterologous
  • Wings, Animal / embryology*