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Dev Biol. 2004 May 1;269(1):123-36.

Chemokine signaling regulates sensory cell migration in zebrafish.

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Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1048, USA.


Chemokines play an important role in the migration of a variety of cells during development. Recent investigations have begun to elucidate the importance of chemokine signaling within the developing nervous system. To better appreciate the neural function of chemokines in vivo, the role of signaling by SDF-1 through its CXCR4 receptor was analyzed in zebrafish. The SDF-1-CXCR4 expression pattern suggested that SDF-1-CXCR4 signaling was important for guiding migration by sensory cells known as the migrating primordium of the posterior lateral line. Ubiquitous induction of the ligand in transgenic embryos, antisense knockdown of the ligand or receptor, and a genetic receptor mutation all disrupted migration by the primordium. Furthermore, in embryos in which endogenous SDF-1 was knocked down, the primordium migrated towards exogenous sources of SDF-1. These data demonstrate that SDF-1 signaling mediated via CXCR4 functions as a chemoattractant for the migrating primordium and that chemokine signaling is both necessary and sufficient for directing primordium migration.

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