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Wisconsin researchers describe how digits grow
Date:3/11/2008

he PFR cells. The assay showed that the signaling activity through the BMP receptor correlated with the digit that forms either normally or after experimental manipulation of the interdigit.

"Our studies showed that a specific region of mesenchymal cells in the digital ray receive the interdigital signal, and that BMP receptor signaling in this region plays a central role in the process," notes Fallon. "Changes in the levels of signaling lead to different developmental outcomes."

The research explains how improper signaling through specific BMP receptors may lead to malformations of phalanges, such as those seen in certain types of bradydactyly in humans.

"The molecular mechanisms controlling the formation of chicken and mammalian limbs, including those of humans, are similar," says Fallon. "We can learn a great deal about the causes of human malformations from studying these mechanisms in the developing chick."


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Contact: Dian Land
dj.land@hosp.wisc.edu
608-261-1034
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Source:Eurekalert

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