Immunocytochemical localization of epidermal growth factor-receptor in early embryos of the Japanese medaka fish (Oryzias latipes

This study was undertaken to localize epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) during early development of Japanese medaka embryos using immunocytochemistry. Specific staining was observed in all stages studied. All of the cells of the embryonic disc from the germinal disc (1 cell) through the late high blastula stages stained moderately for EGFR. Beginning with the flat blastula stage, the surface and lateral cells of the embryonic disc and the cells migrating around the yolk stained intensely for EGFR, and this continued throughout the study period. The presence of the keel at the late gastrula stage did not affect the moderate staining of the majority of the embryonic disc cells. When somites first appeared, the keel region stained less intensely than before, but scattered individual cells stained intensely for EGFR. Embryos with 12 somites had a neural tube that was lightly stained except for a few intensely stained individual cells. The neural tube, notochord and somites in 24-somite embryos lacked immunostaining. However, the surface epithelium, aorta, intestinal epithelium and pronephric duct demonstrated EGFR immunostaining. This study demonstrates that EGFR is present during medaka development and supports the hypothesis that EGFR ligands are important during cleavage, gastrulation and early organogenesis.

PMID: 11352399