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Int J Dev Biol January 1, 2013; 57 (9-10): 779-86.

Xnr3 affects brain patterning via cell migration in the neural-epidermal tissue boundary during early Xenopus embryogenesis.

Morita M , Yamashita S , Matsukawa S , Haramoto Y , Takahashi S , Asashima M , Michiue T .

Neural induction and anteroposterior neural patterning occur simultaneously during Xenopus gastrulation by the inhibition of BMP and Wnt signaling, respectively. However, other processes might be necessary for determining the neural-epidermal boundary. Xenopus nodal-related-3 (Xnr3) is expressed in dorsal blastula and plays a role in neural formation. In this study, we analyzed how Xnr3 affects neural patterning to identify novel mechanisms of neural-epidermal-boundary determination. In situ hybridization revealed that ventro-animal injection with Xnr3 shifted the lateral krox20 expression domain anteriorly and reduced Otx2 expression. The mature region of Xnr3 is necessary for these effects to occur, and the pro-region accelerated them. Phalloidin labeling revealed that cells around the neural-epidermal boundary lost their slender shape following Xnr3 injection. Moreover, we analyzed the cell migration of ectodermal cells and found specific Xnr3-induced effects at the neural-epidermal boundary. These findings together suggested that Xnr3 affects anterior ectoderm migration around the neural-epidermal boundary to induce a specific neural pattern abnormality. Change of the shape of surrounding ectodermal cells and the specific migratory pattern might therefore reflect the novel mechanism of neural-epidermal boundary.

PubMed ID: 24307296
Article link: Int J Dev Biol

Genes referenced: dap egr2 en2 foxg1 muc2 nodal nodal3.1 nodal3.2 odc1 otx2 rax snai2 sox2

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