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Molecular regionalization of the developing amphioxus neural tube challenges major partitions of the vertebrate brain

AuthorsAlbuixech-Crespo, Beatriz; Burguera, Demian; Maeso, Ignacio; Moreno-Bravo, Juan Antonio; Sánchez-Arrones, Luisa ; Bovolenta, Paola ; Garcia-Fernàndez, Jordi; Puelles, Eduardo; Irimia, Manuel; Ferrán, José Luis
Issue Date2017
PublisherPublic Library of Science
CitationPLoS Biology 15(4): e2001573 (2017)
AbstractAll vertebrate brains develop following a common Bauplan defined by anteroposterior (AP) and dorsoventral (DV) subdivisions, characterized by largely conserved differential expression of gene markers. However, it is still unclear how this Bauplan originated during evolution. We studied the relative expression of 48 genes with key roles in vertebrate neural patterning in a representative amphioxus embryonic stage. Unlike nonchordates, amphioxus develops its central nervous system (CNS) from a neural plate that is homologous to that of vertebrates, allowing direct topological comparisons. The resulting genoarchitectonic model revealed that the amphioxus incipient neural tube is unexpectedly complex, consisting of several AP and DV molecular partitions. Strikingly, comparison with vertebrates indicates that the vertebrate thalamus, pretectum, and midbrain domains jointly correspond to a single amphioxus region, which we termed Di-Mesencephalic primordium (DiMes). This suggests that these domains have a common developmental and evolutionary origin, as supported by functional experiments manipulating secondary organizers in zebrafish and mice.
Descriptionet al.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.2001573
Identifiersdoi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.2001573
e-issn: 1545-7885
issn: 1544-9173
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