Late deposition of elastin to vertical microfibrillar fibers in the presumptive dermis of the chick embryonic tarsometatarsus

Yosuke Yamazaki, Hitomi Sejima, Maki Yuguchi, Yuichi Namba, Keitaro Isokawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Fibrillin microfibrils are integral components of elastic fibers and serve as a scaffold for elastin deposition. However, microfibrillar fibers (MFs) are not necessarily committed to develop into so-called elastic fibers. In dermis, elastin-free oxytalan MFs originating from the dermoepidermal junction are continuous to elaunin-type MFs (with a small amount of elastin) in the deeper papillary dermis, whereas the reticular dermis contains elastic fibers, or MFs embedded largely in elastin. In this study, we have investigated temporospatial patterns of elastin deposition on the MFs in tarsometatarsal presumptive dermis. While the earliest expression of elastin was demonstrated immunohistochemically as early as embryonic day 4 (ED4) in the wall of cardiac outflow and pharyngeal arch arteries, its deposition in the tarsometatarsus was first detected at ED6 in the deeper mesenchyme and at ED13 in the subectodermal mesenchyme. In the latter tissue, MFs had been organized perpendicularly to the covering ectoderm by ED4, well before an overt accumulation of collagenous matrix. Elastin deposition was observed initially in a punctate manner at ED13 and afterward became continuous along MFs. However, a characteristic spaced array of subectodermal vertical MFs was disorganized by ED17. These findings suggest that elastin deposition in the subectodermal MFs is not deployed by continuous, orderly propagation from elastic fibers in the deeper mesenchyme but occurs de novo in multiple foci along vertical MFs. Moreover, the present chronology of elastin deposition indicates that subectodermal, elastin-free MFs function as a transient, but primary fibrous structure in the presumptive dermis before the accumulation of collagenous matrix.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1300-1308
Number of pages9
JournalAnatomical Record
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2007


  • Chicken embryo
  • Elastic fiber
  • Fibrillin microfibrils
  • Limb bud
  • Oxytalan fiber
  • Skin development


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