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CTGF expression during mouse embryonic development


Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) is a potent fibroblast mitogen and angiogenic factor which plays an important role in wound healing, cancerogenesis and fibrotic and vascular disease. Here we explored the regulation and the cellular site of the mRNA synthesis for this growth factor in the developing mouse embryo by in situ hybridisation. Strong and persistent CTGF gene expression was limited to three types of tissue: the vascular endothelium, particularly the high-pressure part of the cardiovascular system, condensed connective tissue around bone and cartilage, and maturing layer VII neurons in the cerebral cortex. With few exceptions (late tooth bud, neuroepithelium) epithelial tissue was negative. Very transient but strong expression was observed early during formation of cartilage, in late stages during perichondral ossification, on cerebral neuroepithelium, and in several discrete stages of tooth formation, on mesenchymal precursors of odontoblasts condensing on inner dental epithelium, and later on apposing regions of ameloblast and odontoblast epithelium. Altogether, the current study suggests that CTGF performs a dual role: a continuous function in the cardiovascular system, bone and cartilage-associated mesenchyme and maturing layer VII neurons, but also a more transient function associated with the formation of cartilage, bone, tooth and cerebral nerve cells.

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Correspondence to Gennadij Raivich.

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Friedrichsen, S., Heuer, H., Christ, S. et al. CTGF expression during mouse embryonic development. Cell Tissue Res 312, 175–188 (2003).

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  • Connective tissue growth factor
  • Embryonic development
  • Wound healing
  • Cancerogenesis
  • mRNA synthesis
  • Mouse (NMRI)