2015 Volume 77 Issue 5 Pages 587-591
In early embryogenesis, the posteroventral foregut endoderm gives rise to the budding endodermal organs including the liver, ventral pancreas and gallbladder during early somitogenesis. Despite the detailed fate maps of the liver and pancreatic progenitors in the mouse foregut endoderm, the exact location of the gallbladder progenitors remains unclear. In this study, we performed a DiI fate-mapping analysis using whole-embryo cultures of mouse early somite-stage embryos. Here, we show that the majority of gallbladder progenitors in 9–11-somite-stage embryos are located in the lateral-most domain of the foregut endoderm at the first intersomite junction level along the anteroposterior axis. This definition of their location highlights a novel entry point to understanding of the molecular mechanisms of initial specification of the gallbladder.