fibroblast growth factor (FGF)
chorioallantoic membrane (CAM)
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Normal and pathological formation of blood vessels is of considerable interest both in terms of basic scientific processes and clinical applications. Angiogenic events in the adult are likely to represent persistence of developmental mechanisms, and embryos are therefore a suitable experimental model for these processes. Among embryonic tissues, muscle is particularly appropriate for investigation, since it is highly vascularised from early stages. There are a number of competing explanations of how this process is controlled. Bioassays offer advantages over conventional molecular localisation techniques, in that they reveal the presence of active processed forms of the molecules under study, rather than non-processed forms, or non-translated meassages. Using these techniques, we report here that embryonic chick muscle, taken from the stages at which blood vessels are forming, produces an angiogenic activity on the chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM), and transforms NR6 cells in soft agar. Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) is shown to be angiogenic on the CAM in the same way, and also transforms NR6 cells (NR6 cells lack functional epidermal growth factor/transforming growth factor-a receptors, and are believed to respond only to bFGF in this way). Anti-bFGF removes the transforming activity of the embryonic muscle. We conclude that this represents evidence that embryonic chick muscle is producing an FGF-like molecule which is capable of acting as an angiogenic agent at the appropriate times in development.
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