Contribution of Cells Derived from the Area Pellucida to Extraembryonic Mesodermal Cell Lineages in Heterospecific Quail Chick Blastodermal Chimeras

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Abstract

The current study has two main objectives: first, to determine if cells derived from the area pellucida are able to populate extraembryonic membranes, and second, to determine if donor cells have the potential to differentiate to endothelial (EC) and hematopoietic cells (HC) in the yolk sac and allantois, the two extraembryonic membranes functioning as hematopoietic organs in the avian embryo. To this end, quail chick chimeras were constructed by transferring dissociated cells from the areae pellucidae of the stage X–XII (EG&K) quail embryo into the subgerminal cavity of the unincubated chick blastoderm. The distribution of quail cells in the allantois, yolk sac, amnion, and chorion of resulting putative chimeras was examined using quail cell-specific antibody against a perinuclear antigen (QCPN) after 6 days of incubation. The presence of EC, HC, and smooth muscle cells among the QCPN+ donor cells was examined using QH-1, a quail-specific marker identifying HC and EC and an anti-α-smooth muscle actin antibody. Evidence gathered in the present study demonstrates that quail cells derived from the areae pellucidae are able to populate all of the extraembryonic membranes of resulting heterospecific quail chick chimeras and, most importantly, give rise to HC, EC, and smooth muscle cells, all of the three main mesodermal lineages derived from the posterior mesoderm both in the yolk sac and allantois.

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