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1.  Visualizing the Needle in the Haystack: In Situ Hybridization With Fluorescent Dendrimers 
In situ hybridization with 3DNA™ dendrimers is a novel tool for detecting low levels of mRNA in tissue sections and whole embryos. Fluorescently labeled dendrimers were used to identify cells that express mRNA for the skeletal muscle transcription factor MyoD in the early chick embryo. A small population of MyoD mRNA positive cells was found in the epiblast prior to the initiation of gastrulation, two days earlier than previously detected using enzymatic or radiolabeled probes for mRNA. When isolated from the epiblast and placed in culture, the MyoD mRNA positive cells were able to differentiate into skeletal muscle cells. These results demonstrate that DNA dendrimers are sensitive and precise tools for identifying low levels of mRNA in single cells and tissues.
doi:10.1251/bpo84
PMCID: PMC481046  PMID: 15272365
MyoD protein; In situ hybridization
2.  DNA Dendrimers Localize Myod mRNA in Presomitic Tissues of the Chick Embryo 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2000;149(4):825-834.
MyoD expression is thought to be induced in somites in response to factors released by surrounding tissues; however, reverse transcription-PCR and cell culture analyses indicate that myogenic cells are present in the embryo before somite formation. Fluorescently labeled DNA dendrimers were used to identify MyoD expressing cells in presomitic tissues in vivo. Subpopulations of MyoD positive cells were found in the segmental plate, epiblast, mesoderm, and hypoblast. Directly after laying, the epiblast of the two layered embryo contained ∼20 MyoD positive cells. These results demonstrate that dendrimers are precise and sensitive reagents for localizing low levels of mRNA in tissue sections and whole embryos, and that cells with myogenic potential are present in the embryo before the initiation of gastrulation.
PMCID: PMC2174576  PMID: 10811824
myogenesis; epiblast; segmental plate; in situ hybridization; muscle transcription factor

Results 1-2 (2)