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J Comp Neurol December 17, 2001; 441 (3): 266-75.

Embryonic expression of pituitary adenylyl cyclase-activating polypeptide and its selective type I receptor gene in the frog Xenopus laevis neural tube.

Hu Z , Lelievre V , Rodriguez WI , Tam J , Cheng JW , Cohen-Cory S , Waschek JA .

The genes encoding pituitary adenylyl cyclase-activating peptide (PACAP) and its selective type I receptor (PAC1) are expressed in the embryonic mouse neural tube, where they may be involved in neurogenesis and neural tube development. We examined here the early expression and potential actions of PACAP and PAC1 in the vertebrate developmental model Xenopus laevis. PACAP and PAC1 mRNAs were first detected by RT-PCR in stage 16-18 embryos (18 hours after fertilization). Two distinct PACAP precursor mRNAs were identified. One encoded both growth hormone-releasing hormone and PACAP, whereas the other encoded only full-length PACAP. Unlike that in the adult, the latter represented the predominant embryonic PACAP mRNA species. In situ hybridization revealed that PACAP and PAC1 mRNAs were restricted to neural cells. PAC1 gene expression was observed mainly in the ventricular zone in the ventral parts of the prosencephalon, mensencephalon, rhombencephalon, and anterior spinal cord. In contrast, PACAP mRNA was localized exclusively in postmitotic cells in the dorsolateral parts of the rhombencephalon and entire spinal cord. Most PACAP mRNA-containing cells were characterized as Rohon-Beard neurons. Exposure of early embryos to UV irradiation, which ventralizes embryos and inhibits neural induction, reduced the expression of PACAP and PAC1 genes. These results suggest that PACAP may be involved in the early development of the embryonic Xenopus neural tube.

PubMed ID: 11745649
Article link: J Comp Neurol
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: adcyap1 adcyap1r1 ghrh klf6 tubb2b

Article Images: [+] show captions