On the Formation of Digits and Joints during Limb Development

Tom W. Hiscock, Patrick Tschopp, Clifford J. Tabin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Critical steps in forming the vertebrate limb include the positioning of digits and the positioning of joints within each digit. Recent studies have proposed that the iterative series of digits is established by a Turing-like mechanism generating stripes of chondrogenic domains. However, re-examination of available data suggest that digits are actually patterned as evenly spaced spots, not stripes, which then elongate into rod-shaped digit rays by incorporating new cells at their tips. Moreover, extension of the digit rays and the patterning of the joints occur simultaneously at the distal tip, implying that an integrated model is required to fully understand these processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-465
Number of pages7
JournalDevelopmental Cell
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2017


  • digit specification
  • joint formation
  • Turing mechanism


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