Spontaneous and retinoic acid‐induced postaxial polydactyly in mice

Academic Article


  • A spontaneous postaxial polydactyly, similar to type B in humans, was found in a partially inbred ICR mouse strain. The supernumerary digit could be detected grossly as early as day 14 of gestation. The incidence of polydactyly decreased with increasing gestational age. All‐trans retinoic acid (RA) administered on day 10 or 11 of gestation, but not on day 9, increased the incidence of polydactyly at each gestational day examined. The day 18 levels of polydactyly were greatest after day 10 treatment. No clear doseresponse relationship was observed in term fetuses following treatment on day 9, 10, or 11. RA administered on day 10 produced extra digits which were morphologically more advanced than those in the untreated controls. RA, given to the inbred C57B1/10 strain, produced low levels of polydactyly if administered on day 9, but not on day 10 or 11. F1 embryos, from reciprocal crosses between the two strains, were intermediate in response to RA. On day 14, cell death in the postaxial marginal mesoderm was apparent in all protopolydactylous embryos examined, whether treated or untreated. The supernumerary digits varied in size on day 14. The smaller digits appeared to be filled with necrotic mesodermal cells, whereas the larger digits had a necrosis‐free area. The size of the extra digit on day 14 seemed to be the most important factor in the persistence of the digit until day 18. Copyright © 1985 Wiley‐Liss, Inc., A Wiley Company
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Cusic AM; Dagg CP
  • Start Page

  • 49
  • End Page

  • 59
  • Volume

  • 31
  • Issue

  • 1