We describe the expression pattern of the mouse Cdx-1 gene during early development, examined by both RNA and protein analyses. Cdx-1 expression began with the onset of the head process formation (day 7.5) in ectodermal and mesodermal cells of the primitive streak. Expression extended initially to the middle of the prospective hindbrain and subsequently regressed caudad to the spinal cord level by day 9.5. The mesoderm-specific expression was detected in the first somites and could be followed during their differentiation to the myotome of the dorsal somitic edge by day 12. The developing limb buds and the mesonephros exhibited expression up to day 12. No signal could be detected in notochordal cells and cells of the definitive endoderm. Thus, Cdx-1 is expressed during gastrulation when anterior-posterior positional values are established along the embryonic axes. Furthermore, the expression correlates with the formation of segmented tissue in the posterior hindbrain, the spinal cord and structures like the mesonephros.

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