Transient expression of GAP-43 in nonneuronal cells of the embryonic chicken limb

Kate M. Stocker, Lawrence Baizer, Gary Ciment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Growth associated protein (GAP)-43 is a membrane-bound phosphoprotein expressed in neurons and is particularly abundant during periods of axonal outgrowth in development and regeneration of the nervous system. In previous work, we cloned a full-length chicken GAP-43 cDNA and described the expression of its corresponding mRNA during early development of the chicken nervous system. We report here that the GAP-43 mRNA is also expressed transiently in developing limbs of chicken embryos, which contain axons of spinal cord and dorsal root ganglion neurons, but do not contain neuronal cell bodies. GAP-43 mRNA was first detectable by RNA blot analysis in limbs from Embryonic Day 5 (E5) embryos, reached maximal levels between E6 and E8, and diminished by E10. In situ hybridization analysis showed that the GAP-43 mRNA was localized in distal regions of developing limbs and was particularly abundant in the mesenchyme surrounding the digital cartilage. In some regions of the limb, GAP-43 immunoreactivity colocalized in cells that were also immunoreactive for meromyosin, a muscle-specific marker. These data suggest that both GAP-43 mRNA and the protein are expressed in nonneuronal cells of the developing limb, some of which may be part of the muscle cell lineage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)406-414
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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