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Development. 1992 Dec;116(4):1011-9.

Local and transient expression of E-cadherin involved in mouse embryonic brain morphogenesis.

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  • 1Department of Biophysics, Faculty of Science, Kyoto University, Japan.


We found that E-cadherin (uvomorulin) is transiently expressed in restricted regions of the metencephalon, mesencephalon and diencephalon of mouse embryonic brain. This expression first occurred in parts of the mesencephalon and diencephalon at around E9.5, and subsequently extended to the primordia of cerebellum, the dorsal midline of mesencephalon and some other regions of the embryonic brain. These E-cadherin expressions ceased by E15 except at the dorsal midline. Immunohistological analyses showed that E-cadherin-positive cells are radially arranged in the neural tube and the E-cadherin-positive regions are sharply demarcated from E-cadherin-negative regions. Axons extending from some of the E-cadherin-positive regions also expressed this molecule. When embryonic brains were dissociated into single cells and cultured as monolayers, E-cadherin-positive cells formed clusters that were segregated from E-cadherin-negative cells. E9.5 brain fragments containing metencephalon and mesencephalon were isolated, explanted on Nucleopore filters and cultured in the absence or presence of antibodies to E-cadherin. This antibody treatment removed most of the E-cadherin molecules from the explants and consequently affected their growth pattern. To analyze cellular events induced by the antibody treatment, we stained these explants with an antiserum to En whose distribution was found to overlap in part with that of E-cadherin and found that the pattern of En staining was altered by the anti-E-cadherin antibody treatment. These results suggest that the local and transient expression of E-cadherin in embryonic brain is involved in regional pattern formation in this organ.

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