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Development November 1, 1990; 110 (3): 747-57.
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Correlated onset and patterning of proopiomelanocortin gene expression in embryonic Xenopus brain and pituitary.

Hayes WP , Loh YP .

To identify cellular interactions that underlie the spatially appropriate transcription of neural genes, we characterized the embryonic development of proopiomelanocortin (POMC) gene expression in Xenopus laevis using in situ hybridization histochemistry. This has led to the establishment of a unique model system for studying how a neuropeptide gene program in four distinct cell groups is set up in pituitary and forebrain. The embryonic onset and patterning of POMC expression was found to be spatially and temporally correlated inside and outside the brain. The first POMC cells in the pituitary primordium and diencephalon were juxtaposed near the infundibulum at stage 29/30, indicating they undergo molecular differentiation much earlier than previously reported for this system. By stage 31/32, many more POMC cells appeared in the morphologically undifferentiated pituitary primordium and brain. In fact, these cells were seen throughout the presumptive anterior and intermediate lobes of the pituitary and posterior diencephalon at the same time that the pituitary primordium is translocating ventral to diencephalon. By stage 39/40, coordinated morphogenesis produced the adult pattern of POMC cells localized in distinct anterior and intermediate pituitary lobes and two diencephalic nuclei. We propose in light of these findings that embryonic cells in the pituitary primordium and brain are simultaneously induced to transcribe the POMC gene, possibly as a result of reciprocal brain-pituitary interactions.

PubMed ID: 2088717
Article link:

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: gtf2a1l pdia2 pomc tbx2

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