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Development. 2002 Feb;129(4):863-73.

Bimodal functions of Notch-mediated signaling are involved in neural crest formation during avian ectoderm development.

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Department of Developmental Neurobiology, Graduate School of Medicine, Tohoku University, Sendai, Miyagi 980-8575, Japan.


Neural crest is induced at the junction of epidermal ectoderm and neural plate by the mutual interaction of these tissues. In previous studies, BMP4 has been shown to pattern the ectodermal tissues, and BMP4 can induce neural crest cells from the neural plate. In this study, we show that epidermally expressed Delta1, which encodes a Notch ligand, is required for the activation and/or maintenance of Bmp4 expression in this tissue, and is thus indirectly required for neural crest induction by BMP4 at the epidermis-neural plate boundary. Notch activation in the epidermis additionally inhibits neural crest formation in this tissue, so that neural crest generation by BMP4 is restricted to the junction.

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