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Development. 2005 May;132(9):2007-21.

Neural induction: old problem, new findings, yet more questions.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK.


During neural induction, the embryonic neural plate is specified and set aside from other parts of the ectoderm. A popular molecular explanation is the 'default model' of neural induction, which proposes that ectodermal cells give rise to neural plate if they receive no signals at all, while BMP activity directs them to become epidermis. However, neural induction now appears to be more complex than once thought, and can no longer be fully explained by the default model alone. This review summarizes neural induction events in different species and highlights some unanswered questions about this important developmental process.

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