Send to

Choose Destination
Dev Biol. 2005 Jul 15;283(2):310-21.

Roles for fgf8 signaling in left-right patterning of the visceral organs and craniofacial skeleton.

Author information

Department of Cytokine Biology, The Forsyth Institute, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Laterality is fundamental to the vertebrate body plan. Here, we investigate the roles of fgf8 signaling in LR patterning of the zebrafish embryo. We find that fgf8 is required for proper asymmetric development of the brain, heart and gut. When fgf8 is absent, nodal signaling is randomized in the lateral plate mesoderm, leading to aberrant LR orientation of the brain and visceral organs. We also show that fgf8 is necessary for proper symmetric development of the pharyngeal skeleton. Attenuated fgf8 signaling results in consistently biased LR asymmetric development of the pharyngeal arches and craniofacial skeleton. Approximately 1/3 of zebrafish ace/fgf8 mutants are missing Kupffer's vesicle (KV), a ciliated structure similar to Hensen's node. We correlate fgf8 deficient laterality defects in the brain and viscera with the absence of KV, supporting a role for KV in proper LR patterning of these structures. Strikingly, we also correlate asymmetric craniofacial development in ace/fgf8 mutants with the presence of KV, suggesting roles for KV in lateralization of the pharyngeal skeleton when fgf8 is absent. These data provide new insights into vertebrate laterality and offer the zebrafish ace/fgf8 mutant as a novel molecular tool to investigate tissue-specific molecular laterality mechanisms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center