Ciliary muscle in avian is derived from mesenchymal and epithelial cells

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Barrio Asensio, María del Carmen
Puerta Fonollá, Javier
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It has long been maintained that the ciliary muscle derives from mesenchymal cells. The embryonic development of the avian ciliary muscle was studied in chick embryos from stage 25 HH to the time of hatching. Serial sections of the eye were stained routinely or immunocytochemically using the monoclonal antibody 13F4, which recognizes a cytoplasmic antigen specific for all types of muscle cells. We found that the mesenchymal immunoreactive cells, at stage 37 HH, are arranged in two distinct orientations forming the anterior and posterior portions of the ciliary muscle. At stages 38 and 39 HH the pigmented epithelium contained 13F4 positive cells, which detach from the epithelium and apparently migrate into stroma. These epithelial cells may differentiate into muscle cells. Within this same time period a progressive accumulation of myoblasts was detected between the pigmented epithelium and the ciliary muscle. Some myoblasts containing melanin were also observed. At stage 40 HH the internal portion of the ciliary muscle was visible. These findings indicate that the immunopositive epithelial cells participate in the formation of the internal portion of the muscle. We conclude that the ciliary muscle derives not only from the mesenchymal cells but also from the pigmented epithelium.
Received 28 December 2001, Revised 7 February 2002, Available online 28 May 2002
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