Partanen,A.M., and, Thesleff,I.
Localization and quantitation of 125I-epidermal growth factor binding in mouse embryonic tooth and other embryonic tissues at different developmental stages.
Developmental Biology 120(1):186-197 (1987).
We have shown earlier that epidermal growth factor (EGF) inhibits morphogenesis and cell differentiation in mouse embryonic teeth in organ culture. This inhibition depends on the stage of tooth development so that only teeth at early developmental stages respond to EGF (A-M. Partanen, P. Ekblom, and I. Thesleff (1985) Dev. Biol. 111, 84-94). We have now studied the quantity and pattern of EGF binding in teeth at various stages of development by incubating the dissected tooth germs with 125I-labeled EGF. Although the quantity of 125I-EGF binding per microgram DNA stays at the same level, localization of 125I-EGF binding by autoradiography reveals that the distribution of binding sites changes dramatically. In bud stage the epithelial tooth bud that is intruding into the underlying mesenchyme has binding sites for EGF, but the condensation of dental mesenchymal cells around the bud does not bind EGF. At the cap stage of development the dental mesenchyme binds EGF, but the dental epithelium shows no binding. This indicates that the dental mesenchyme is the primary target tissue for the inhibitory effect of EGF on tooth morphogenesis during early cap stage. During advanced morphogenesis the binding sites of EGF disappear also from the dental papilla mesenchyme, but the dental follicle which consists of condensed mesenchymal cells surrounding the tooth germ, binds EGF abundantly. We have also studied EGF binding during the development of other embryonic organs, kidney, salivary gland, lung, and skin, which are all formed by mesenchymal and epithelial components. The patterns of EGF binding in various tissues suggest that EGF may have a role in the organogenesis of epitheliomesenchymal organs as a stimulator of epithelial proliferation during initial epithelial bud formation and branching morphogenesis. The results of this study indicate that EGF stimulates or maintains proliferation of undifferentiated cells during embryonic development and that the expression of EGF receptors in different organs is not related to the age of the embryo, but is specific to the developmental stage of each organ.

Last edited 10.12.2004 by P.N.