Cyclopia is a congenital anomaly characterized by the presence of a single or partially divided eye in a single orbit at the body midline. This condition is usually associated with other severe facial malformations, such as the absence of the nose and, on rare occasions, the presence of a proboscis located above the ocular structures. The developmental origin of cyclopia in vertebrates is the failure of the embryonic prosencephalon to divide properly during the formation of the two bilateral eyes. Although the developmental origin of the cyclopia-associated proboscis is not clear, it has been suggested that this unique structure results from the disrupted morphogenesis of the olfactory placodes, the main organizers of the developing nose. In this study, we report a spontaneous congenital case of cyclopia with a proboscis-like appendage in a chick embryo. By means of both conventional histology and immunohistochemical methods, we have analyzed this anomaly in detail to suggest an alternative identity for the anatomical embryonic features of cyclopic vertebrate embryos displaying a proboscis. Our findings are discussed in the context of previously reported cases of cyclopia, and provide additional insight into this complex congenital malformation.
Cellular identities in an unusual presentation of cyclopia in a chick embryo
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