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In branching morphogenesis, lung buds form, grow out and ultimately branch (Bellusci et al. 1997). It has been known

that Fibroblast Growth Factor 10 (FGF10) has a significant role in the branching morphogenesis in the embryonic mouse lung

(Bellusci et al. 1997; Weaver et al. 2000). During embryonic lung morphogenesis, the distal mesenchyme regulates the growth

and branching of adjacent endoderm. It was reported that FGF10 is expressed dynamically in the mesenchyme adjacent to the

distal buds from the earliest stages of lung development (Bellusci et al 1997). Although some research has been conducted on the

FGF10's effects on the embryonic mouse lung, no research has been done previously on the effects of FGF10 on branch

morphogenesis in the embryonic chick lung.

Mammalian and avian respiratory systems are distinct from one another. Mammalian lungs like those found in mice, are set

up to have inhalation and exhalation completed in one cycle. The avian respiratory system is set up differently. The process of

inhalation and exhalation is accomplished in two cycles. This distinct two-cycle system created unique morphological structures,

air sacs, in the avian respiratory system (Campbell, 1996; Romanoff, 1960).

Our main objective was to determine if FGF10 has a role in the branching morphogenesis in embryonic chick lungs. This

will enable us to ascertain the possible similarities between mammalian and avian lung development. We will treat 6-day-old chick

lungs in BGJb culture medium to an FGF inhibitor as well as induce new bud formations using FGF10 loaded heparin beads and

observe the effects on the formation of the chick lungs.

© Cebra-Thomas, 2001

Last Modified: 31 May 2001

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