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Dev Biol. 2003 Sep 1;261(1):99-115.

Programming neural Hoxd10: in vivo evidence that early node-associated signals predominate over paraxial mesoderm signals at posterior spinal levels.

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Department of Neurobiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA.


Studies of the programming of Hox patterns at anterior spinal levels suggest that these events are accomplished through an integration of Hensen's node-derived and paraxial mesoderm signaling. We have used in vivo tissue manipulation in the avian embryo to examine the respective roles of node- derived and other local signals in the programming of a Hox pattern at posterior spinal levels. Hoxd10 is highly expressed in the lumbosacral (LS) spinal cord and adjacent paraxial mesoderm. At stages of LS neural tube formation (stages 12-14), the tailbud contains the remnants of Hensen's node and the primitive streak. Hoxd10 expression was analyzed after transposition of LS neural segments with and without the tailbud, after isolation of normally positioned LS segments from the stage 13 tailbud, and after axial displacement of posterior paraxial mesoderm. Data suggest that inductive signals from the tailbud are primarily responsible for the programming of Hoxd10 at neural plate and the earliest neural tube stages. After these stages, the LS neural tube appears to differ from more anterior neural segments in its lack of dependence on Hox-inductive signals from local tissues, including paraxial mesoderm. Our data also suggest that a graded system of repressive signals for posterior Hox genes is present at cervical and thoracic levels and likely to originate from paraxial mesoderm.

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