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Genesis. March 18, 2017;

Specific induction of cranial placode cells from Xenopus ectoderm by modulating the levels of BMP, Wnt and FGF signaling.

Watanabe T , Kanai Y , Matsukawa S , Michiue T .

The neural-epidermal boundary tissues include the neural crest and preplacodal ectoderm (PPE) as primordial constituents. The PPE region is essential for the development of various sensory and endocrine organs, such as the anterior lobe of the pituitary, olfactory epithelium, lens, trigeminal ganglion, and otic vesicles. During gastrulation, a neural region is induced in ectodermal cells that interacts with mesendodermal tissue and responds to several secreted factors. Among them, inhibition of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) in the presumptive neuroectoderm is essential for the induction of neural regions, and formation of a Wnt and fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling gradient along the midline determines anterior-posterior patterning. In this study, we attempted to specifically induce PPE cells from undifferentiated Xenopus cells by regulating BMP, Wnt and FGF signaling. We showed that the proper level of BMP inhibition with an injection of truncated BMP receptor or treatment with a chemical antagonist triggered the expression of PPE genes. In addition, by varying the amount of injected chordin, we optimized specific expression of the PPE genes. PPE gene expression increased by adding an appropriate dose of a FGF receptor antagonist. Furthermore, co-injection with either wnt8 or the Wnt inhibitor dkk-1 altered the expression levels of several region-specific genes according to the injected dose. We specifically induced PPE cell differentiation in animal cap cells from early-stage Xenopus embryos by modulating BMP, Wnt and FGF signaling. This is not the first research on placode induction, but our simple method could potentially be applied to mammalian stem cell systems. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

PubMed ID: 26249012
Article link: Genesis.

Genes referenced: chrd.1 dkk1 eef1a1 eya1 fgf8 foxd3 ncam1 neurod4 pax8 six1 six3 six6 snai1 snai2 sox2 wnt8a xk81a1

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