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Brain Res Brain Res Rev. 2003 Oct;43(2):179-91.

Neuroepithelial secondary organizers and cell fate specification in the developing brain.

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  • 1Fac. de Medicina, Instituto de Neurociencias UMH-CSIC, University Miguel Hernandez, Carretera de Valencia, N-332, Km 87, E-03550, San Juan Alicante, Spain.


In vertebrates, elaborate cellular interactions regulate the establishment of the complex structural pattern of the developing central nervous system. Distinct neural and glial identities are acquired by neuroepithelial cells, through progressive restriction of histogenetic potential under the influence of local environmental signals. The localization of the sources of such morphogenetic signals in discrete domains of the developing neural primordium has led to the concept of secondary organizers which refine the identity and polarity of neighboring neuroepithelial regions. Thus, these organizers, secondary to those that operate throughout the embryo during gastrulation, act to pattern the anterior neural plate and tube giving rise to the forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain vesicles. Important progress has recently been made in understanding their genesis and function.

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