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Entrez search - placode development


The formation of the cranial ganglia by placodally-derived sensory neuronal precursors

Mol Cell Neurosci. 2010 Nov 26. Blentic A, Chambers D, Skinner A, Begbie J, Graham A.

MRC Centre for Developmental Neurobiology, King's College London, London SE1 1UL, UK. Abstract The generation of the sensory ganglia involves the migration of a precursor population to the site of ganglion formation and the differentiation of sensory neurons. There is, however, a significant difference between the ganglia of the head and trunk in that while all of the sensory neurons of the trunk are derived from the neural crest, the majority of cranial sensory neurons are generated by the neurogenic placodes. In this study, we have detailed the route through which the placodally-derived sensory neurons are generated, and we find a number of important differences between the head and trunk. Although, the neurogenic placodes release neuroblasts that migrate internally to the site of ganglion formation, we find that there are no placodally-derived progenitor cells within the forming ganglia. The cells released by the placodes differentiate during migration and contribute to the cranial ganglia as post-mitotic neurons. In the trunk, it has been shown that progenitor cells persist in the forming Dorsal Root Ganglia and that much of the process of sensory neuronal differentiation occurs within the ganglion. We also find that the period over which neuronal cells delaminate from the placodes is significantly longer than the time frame over which neural crest cells populate the DRGs. We further show that placodal sensory neuronal differentiation can occur in the absence of local cues. Finally, we find that, in contrast to neural crest cells, the different mature neurogenic placodes seem to lack plasticity. Nodose neuroblasts cannot be diverted to form trigeminal neurons and vice versa.

Copyright © 2010. Published by Elsevier Inc.

PMID: 21112397

Identification of early requirements for preplacodal ectoderm and sensory organ development

PLoS Genet. 2010 Sep 23;6(9). pii: e1001133.

Kwon HJ, Bhat N, Sweet EM, Cornell RA, Riley BB.

Biology Department, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, United States of America. Abstract Preplacodal ectoderm arises near the end of gastrulation as a narrow band of cells surrounding the anterior neural plate. This domain later resolves into discrete cranial placodes that, together with neural crest, produce paired sensory structures of the head. Unlike the better-characterized neural crest, little is known about early regulation of preplacodal development. Classical models of ectodermal patterning posit that preplacodal identity is specified by readout of a discrete level of Bmp signaling along a DV gradient. More recent studies indicate that Bmp-antagonists are critical for promoting preplacodal development. However, it is unclear whether Bmp-antagonists establish the proper level of Bmp signaling within a morphogen gradient or, alternatively, block Bmp altogether. To begin addressing these issues, we treated zebrafish embryos with a pharmacological inhibitor of Bmp, sometimes combined with heat shock-induction of Chordin and dominant-negative Bmp receptor, to fully block Bmp signaling at various developmental stages. We find that preplacodal development occurs in two phases with opposing Bmp requirements. Initially, Bmp is required before gastrulation to co-induce four transcription factors, Tfap2a, Tfap2c, Foxi1, and Gata3, which establish preplacodal competence throughout the nonneural ectoderm. Subsequently, Bmp must be fully blocked in late gastrulation by dorsally expressed Bmp-antagonists, together with dorsally expressed Fgf and Pdgf, to specify preplacodal identity within competent cells abutting the neural plate. Localized ventral misexpression of Fgf8 and Chordin can activate ectopic preplacodal development anywhere within the zone of competence, whereas dorsal misexpression of one or more competence factors can activate ectopic preplacodal development in the neural plate. Conversely, morpholino-knockdown of competence factors specifically ablates preplacodal development. Our work supports a relatively simple two-step model that traces regulation of preplacodal development to late blastula stage, resolves two distinct phases of Bmp dependence, and identifies the main factors required for preplacodal competence and specification.

PMID: 20885782

Induction of the epibranchial placodes

"The cranial sensory ganglia, in contrast to those of the trunk, have a dual embryonic origin arising from both neurogenic placodes and neural crest. Neurogenic placodes are focal thickenings of ectoderm, found exclusively in the head of vertebrate embryos. These structures can be split into two groups based on the positions that they occupy within the embryo, dorsolateral and epibranchial. The dorsolateral placodes develop alongside the central nervous system, while the epibranchial placodes are located close to the top of the clefts between the branchial arches. Importantly, previous studies have shown that the neurogenic placodes form under the influence of the surrounding cranial tissues. In this paper, we have analysed the nature of the inductive signal underlying the formation of the epibranchial placodes. We find that epibranchial placodes do not require neural crest for their induction, but rather that it is the pharyngeal endoderm that is the source of the inductive signal. We also find that, while cranial ectoderm is competent to respond to this inductive signal, trunk ectoderm is not. We have further identified the signalling molecule Bmp7 as the mediator of this inductive interaction. This molecule is expressed in a manner consistent with it playing such a role and, when added to ectoderm explants, it will promote the formation of epibranchial neuronal cells. Moreover, the Bmp7 antagonist follstatin will block the ability of pharyngeal endoderm to induce placodal neuronal cells, demonstrating that Bmp7 is required for this inductive interaction. This work answers the long standing question regarding the induction of the epibranchial placodes, and represents the first elucidation of an inductive mechanism, and a molecular effector, underlying the formation of any primary sensory neurons in higher vertebrates."

  • dorsolateral placodes - develop alongside the central nervous system
  • epibranchial placodes - located close to the top of the clefts between the branchial arches.