Previous studies have shown that the interaction of positive and inhibitory signals plays a crucial role during lung branching morphogenesis. We found that in mesenchyme-free conditions, the lung epithelium exerted a lateral inhibitory effect on the neighbouring epithelium via depletion of fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF1). Contrary to previous suggestions, bone morphogenetic protein 4 could not substitute for the inhibitory effect. Based on of this observation, we used a reaction-diffusion model of the substrate-depletion type to represent the initial phase of in vitro branching morphogenesis of lung epithelium, with depletion of FGF playing the role of lateral inhibitor. The model was able to account for the effects of the FGF1 concentration, extracellular matrix degradation and different subtypes of FGF on morphogenesis of the lung bud epithelia. These results suggest that the depletion of FGF may be a key regulatory component in initial phase of branching morphogenesis of the lung bud epithelium in vitro.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental Biology