In Xenopus laevis, limb buds start to develop at a later point of the larval stage, prior to metamorphosis. This onset of limb development in Xenopus is totally different from that in amniotes such as birds and mammals, in which limb buds emerge at an early stage of embryogenesis, in parallel with other organogenesis. We investigated limb myogenesis in Xenopus, focusing on myogenic gene expression, myogenic ability of limb bud cells in the early stage, and the origin of myogenic precursor cells in the limb bud. The Xenopus early limb bud contains myoD/cardiac actin-positive and pax3/pax7-negative cells. Interestingly, results of transplantation experiments have revealed that this early limb bud contains myogenic precursor cells. In order to know the contribution of myogenic cells in somites to myogenic precursor cells in the early limb bud, we used a Cre-LoxP system for tracing over a long period. The results of fate tracing for myogenic cells in somites of the Xenopus embryo suggested that early-specified myogenic cells in somites do not contribute to limb muscle in Xenopus. Taken together, the results suggest that limb muscle development in Xenopus has characteristics of initiation and early events distinct from those of other vertebrate clades.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Biology