In vitro lens transdifferentiation of Xenopus laevis outer cornea induced by Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF)

Development. 1997 Jan;124(2):421-8. doi: 10.1242/dev.124.2.421.


It has been shown that lens regeneration from outer cornea of larval Xenopus laevis is dependent on neural retina both in vivo and in tissue culture. The isolated outer cornea cultured in the presence of bovine brain-derived acidic Fibroblast Growth Factor (aFGF) is able to reprogram the differentiation into lens fibers, although this transdifferentiative process is not coupled with the formation of a normally organized lens. The capacity of aFGF to promote lens differentiation from cornea is not linked to its mitogenic activity. The cultured corneal cells can transdifferentiate into lens fibers in the presence of aFGF when DNA replication and cell proliferation are prevented by addition of aphidicolin, a specific inhibitor of DNA polymerase in eukaryotes, to the culture medium.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies
  • Aphidicolin / pharmacology
  • Brain
  • Cattle
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Division
  • Cornea / cytology
  • Cornea / drug effects
  • Cornea / embryology*
  • DNA Polymerase II / antagonists & inhibitors
  • DNA Replication / drug effects
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / physiology
  • Epidermal Cells
  • Epidermis / drug effects
  • Epidermis / embryology
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 1 / pharmacology*
  • Lens, Crystalline / cytology
  • Lens, Crystalline / embryology
  • Lens, Crystalline / physiology
  • Mitotic Index
  • Organ Culture Techniques
  • Time Factors
  • Xenopus laevis / embryology*


  • Antibodies
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 1
  • Aphidicolin
  • DNA Polymerase II