The Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, Eprints Archive

Mathematical modelling of digit specification by a sonic hedgehog gradient

Woolley, T E and Baker, R. E. and Tickle, C and Maini, P. K. and Towers, M (2014) Mathematical modelling of digit specification by a sonic hedgehog gradient. Developmental Dynamics, 243 (2). pp. 290-298.

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Abstract

Background: The three chick wing digits represent a classical example of a pattern specified by a morphogen gradient. Here we have investigated whether a mathematical model of a Shh gradient can describe the specification of the identities of the three chick wing digits and if it can be applied to limbs with more digits. Results: We have produced a mathematical model for specification of chick wing digit identities by a Shh gradient that can be extended to the four digits of the chick leg with Shh-producing cells forming a digit. This model cannot be extended to specify the five digits of the mouse limb. Conclusions: Our data suggest that the parameters of a classical-type morphogen gradient are sufficient to specify the identities of three different digits. However, to specify more digit identities, this core mechanism has to be coupled to alternative processes, one being that in the chick leg and mouse limb, Shh-producing cells give rise to digits; another that in the mouse limb, the cellular response to the Shh gradient adapts over time so that digit specification does not depend simply on Shh concentration.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:limb; Shh; gradient; morphogen; mathematical modelling; chick wing; diffusion; digits; growth
Subjects:A - C > Biology and other natural sciences
Research Groups:Centre for Mathematical Biology
ID Code:1764
Deposited By: Philip Maini
Deposited On:24 Jan 2014 08:43
Last Modified:29 May 2015 19:27

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