FGF8 induces formation of an ectopic isthmic organizer and isthmocerebellar development via a repressive effect on Otx2 expression.
Beads containing recombinant FGF8 (FGF8-beads) were implanted in the prospective caudal diencephalon or midbrain of chick embryos at stages 9-12. This induced the neuroepithelium rostral and caudal to the FGF8-bead to form two ectopic, mirror-image midbrains. Furthermore, cells in direct contact with the bead formed an outgrowth that protruded laterally from the neural tube. Tissue within such lateral outgrowths developed proximally into isthmic nuclei and distally into a cerebellum-like structure. These morphogenetic effects were apparently due to FGF8-mediated changes in gene expression in the vicinity of the bead, including a repressive effect on Otx2 and an inductive effect on En1, Fgf8 and Wnt1 expression. The ectopic Fgf8 and Wnt1 expression domains formed nearly complete concentric rings around the FGF8-bead, with the Wnt1 ring outermost. These observations suggest that FGF8 induces the formation of a ring-like ectopic signaling center (organizer) in the lateral wall of the brain, similar to the one that normally encircles the neural tube at the isthmic constriction, which is located at the boundary between the prospective midbrain and hindbrain. This ectopic isthmic organizer apparently sends long-range patterning signals both rostrally and caudally, resulting in the development of the two ectopic midbrains. Interestingly, our data suggest that these inductive signals spread readily in a caudal direction, but are inhibited from spreading rostrally across diencephalic neuromere boundaries. These results provide insights into the mechanism by which FGF8 induces an ectopic organizer and suggest that a negative feedback loop between Fgf8 and Otx2 plays a key role in patterning the midbrain and anterior hindbrain. (+info
Alpha-2 adrenergic receptor functional coupling to G proteins in rat brain during postnatal development.
During postnatal development, alpha-2 adrenergic receptors (A2AR) change in both density and distribution. In forebrain, receptor density increases about 4-fold over neonatal levels, reaching adult levels before postnatal day (P) 28, whereas in hindbrain, including cerebellum, there is a decrease in overall receptor density. We examined the coupling of A2AR to G proteins using agonist-stimulated [35S]GTPgammaS binding as a functional assay. In forebrain the A2AR agonist-stimulated [35S]GTPgammaS binding increases rapidly after P7, reaching its highest levels at P21 and then declining slightly to adult levels. This binding increases more slowly than receptor number, suggesting that the appearance of G proteins, rather than the A2AR, determines the developmental appearance of functional A2AR-G protein interactions in forebrain. Basal [35S]GTPgammaS binding and [35S]GTPgammaS binding stimulated by other neurotransmitter receptor systems (GABA-B, mu opiate, and muscarinic) increase with a time course similar to A2AR-stimulated [35S]GTPgammaS binding. In contrast, in hindbrain, A2AR-stimulated [35S]GTPgammaS binding decreases during postnatal development in parallel with the decrease in A2AR levels, whereas [35S]GTPgammaS binding stimulated by other neurotransmitter receptor systems increases in parallel with basal [35S]GTPgammaS binding. Functional receptor-G protein coupling in hindbrain appears to be dependent on the developmental appearance of G proteins for most neurotransmitter systems. However, for A2AR the decrease in receptor density is the overriding factor. These studies 1) demonstrate the functional measurement of A2AR-G protein coupling in native tissue for the first time, 2) demonstrate that A2AR are coupled to G proteins throughout postnatal development, and 3) describe developmental increases and decreases in functional A2AR in brain. (+info
Maintenance of adenosine A1 receptor function during long-term anoxia in the turtle brain.
It has been established that adenosine has a critical role in the extraordinary ability of the turtle brain to survive anoxia. To further investigate this phenomenon we compared rat and turtle brain adenosine A1 receptors using cyclopentyl-1,3-dipropylxanthine, 8-[dipropyl-2,3-3H(N)] ([3H]DPCPX) saturation binding analyses and determined the effects of prolonged anoxia (6, 12, and 24 h) on the adenosine A1 receptor of the turtle brain. The rat brain had a 10-fold greater density of A1 receptors compared with the turtle [rat cortex receptor density (Bmax) = 1,400 +/- 134.6 fmol/mg protein, turtle forebrain Bmax = 103.2 +/- 4.60 fmol/mg protein] and a higher affinity [dissociation constant (Kd) rat cortex = 0.328 +/- 0.035 nM, Kd turtle forebrain = 1.16 +/- 0.06 nM]. However, the turtle Kd is within the reported mammalian range, and the Bmax is similar to that reported for other poikilotherms. Unlike the mammal, in which A1 receptor function is rapidly compromised in anoxia, in the turtle forebrain no significant changes in the A1 receptor population were seen during 24-h anoxia. However, in the hindbrain, whereas the Bmax remained unchanged, the Kd significantly decreased from 2.1 to 0.5 nM after 6 h anoxia and this higher affinity was maintained at 12- and 24-h anoxia. These findings indicate that, unlike the GABAA receptor, the protective effectiveness of adenosine in the anoxic turtle brain is not related to an enhanced receptor number. Protection from a hypoxia-induced compromise in A1 receptor function and an increased A1 sensitivity in the hindbrain may be important factors for maintaining the adenosine-mediated downregulation of energy demand during long-term anoxia. (+info
Expression of Zkrml2, a homologue of the Krml1/val segmentation gene, during embryonic patterning of the zebrafish (Danio rerio).
We have identified Zkrml2, a novel homologue of the segmentation gene Krml/val in zebrafish (Danio rerio). Zkrml2 shows 72% and 92% identity in its basic leucine zipper domain with mouse Krml1 and zebrafish val, respectively. Zkrml2 is expressed coincident with MyoD throughout the somites starting at the three somite stage, becomes restricted to the dermomyotome, and subsequently disappears. Transient expression is also detected in the reticulospinal and oculomotor neurons. Zkrml2 maps to the Oregon linkage group 11 (Boston Linkage group 14) with no mapped zebrafish mutations nearby. (+info
Mutations in the zebrafish unmask shared regulatory pathways controlling the development of catecholaminergic neurons.
The mechanism by which pluripotent progenitors give rise to distinct classes of mature neurons in vertebrates is not well understood. To address this issue we undertook a genetic screen for mutations which affect the commitment and differentiation of catecholaminergic (CA) [dopaminergic (DA), noradrenergic (NA), and adrenergic] neurons in the zebrafish, Danio rerio. The identified mutations constitute five complementation groups. motionless and foggy affect the number and differentiation state of hypothalamic DA, telencephalic DA, retinal DA, locus coeruleus (LC) NA, and sympathetic NA neurons. The too few mutation leads to a specific reduction in the number of hypothalamic DA neurons. no soul lacks arch-associated NA cells and has defects in pharyngeal arches, and soulless lacks both arch-associated and LC cell groups. Our analyses suggest that the genes defined by these mutations regulate different steps in the differentiation of multipotent CA progenitors. They further reveal an underlying universal mechanism for the control of CA cell fates, which involve combinatorial usage of regulatory genes. (+info
Evidence for collapsin-1 functioning in the control of neural crest migration in both trunk and hindbrain regions.
Collapsin-1 belongs to the Semaphorin family of molecules, several members of which have been implicated in the co-ordination of axon growth and guidance. Collapsin-1 can function as a selective chemorepellent for sensory neurons, however, its early expression within the somites and the cranial neural tube (Shepherd, I., Luo, Y. , Raper, J. A. and Chang, S. (1996) Dev. Biol. 173, 185-199) suggest that it might contribute to the control of additional developmental processes in the chick. We now report a detailed study on the expression of collapsin-1 as well as on the distribution of collapsin-1-binding sites in regions where neural crest cell migration occurs. collapsin-1 expression is detected in regions bordering neural crest migration pathways in both the trunk and hindbrain regions and a receptor for collapsin-1, neuropilin-1, is expressed by migrating crest cells derived from both regions. When added to crest cells in vitro, a collapsin-1-Fc chimeric protein induces morphological changes similar to those seen in neuronal growth cones. In order to test the function of collapsin-1 on the migration of neural crest cells, an in vitro assay was used in which collapsin-1-Fc was immobilised in alternating stripes consisting of collapsin-Fc/fibronectin versus fibronectin alone. Explanted neural crest cells derived from both trunk and hindbrain regions avoided the collapsin-Fc-containing substratum. These results suggest that collapsin-1 signalling can contribute to the patterning of neural crest cell migration in the developing chick. (+info
The Jnk1 and Jnk2 protein kinases are required for regional specific apoptosis during early brain development.
The c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (Jnk) family is implicated in apoptosis, but its function in brain development is unclear. Here, we address this issue using mutant mice lacking different members of the family (Jnk1, Jnk2, and Jnk3). Mice deficient in Jnk1, Jnk2, Jnk3, and Jnk1/Jnk3 or Jnk2/Jnk3 double mutants all survived normally. Compound mutants lacking Jnk1 and Jnk2 genes were embryonic lethal and had severe dysregulation of apoptosis in brain. Specifically, there was a reduction of cell death in the lateral edges of hindbrain prior to neural tube closure. In contrast, increased apoptosis and caspase activation were found in the mutant forebrain, leading to precocious degeneration. These results suggest that Jnk1 and Jnk2 regulate region-specific apoptosis during early brain development. (+info
Hoxa2 and Hoxb2 control dorsoventral patterns of neuronal development in the rostral hindbrain.
Little is known about how the generation of specific neuronal types at stereotypic positions within the hindbrain is linked to Hox gene-mediated patterning. Here, we show that during neurogenesis, Hox paralog group 2 genes control both anteroposterior (A-P) and dorsoventral (D-V) patterning. Hoxa2 and Hoxb2 differentially regulate, in a rhombomere-specific manner, the expression of several genes in broad D-V-restricted domains or narrower longitudinal columns of neuronal progenitors, immature neurons, and differentiating neuronal subtypes. Moreover, Hoxa2 and Hoxb2 can functionally synergize in controlling the development of ventral neuronal subtypes in rhombomere 3 (r3). Thus, in addition to their roles in A-P patterning, Hoxa2 and Hoxb2 have distinct and restricted functions along the D-V axis during neurogenesis, providing insights into how neuronal fates are assigned at stereotypic positions within the hindbrain. (+info