The distribution of cells incorporating bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) and the expression of molecules involved in the control of cell proliferation (proliferating cell nuclear antigen [PCNA], a cellular factor in F9 teratocarcinoma cells that recognizes an adenovirus E1A inducible promoter 1 [E2F1] and proliferation-related acidic nuclear protein 31 [PAL31]) during morphogenesis of the murine palatine rugae (PR) was examined histochemically. Pattern formation of the PR rudiment was initiated with cell cycle related molecules in the epithelium of the primary palate. Cells which had incorporated BrdU were detected at the outer areas of the presumptive epithelial placode (EP) and the EP at 11.5-13.5 days post coitum (dpc) and the outer areas of the PR protrusion after 14.5 dpc. The number of PCNA-positive cells at the central area of the PR protrusion decreased after 16.5 dpc. E2F-positive cells were detected at the outer areas of the PR protrusion at 15.5 and 16.5 dpc. The number of PAL31-positive cells at the presumptive EP area and the already-formed EP area was decreased at 11.5-13.5 dpc. In two dimensional histological reconstructions, PAL31 expression approximately corresponded to the distribution of BrdU-positive cells at 11.5 and 13.5 dpc. EP placode formation might be regulated by spatiotemporal cell proliferation control involving the expression of the PAL31 molecule. Following EP formation, PR development and growth control involved the expression of E2F1 and PCNA molecules.
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