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Dev Biol. 2008 Jul 15;319(2):346-58. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2008.04.033. Epub 2008 May 7.

Wise promotes coalescence of cells of neural crest and placode origins in the trigeminal region during head development.

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Division of Developmental Neurobiology, MRC National Institute for Medical Research, The Ridgeway, Mill Hill, London NW7 1AA, UK.


While most cranial ganglia contain neurons of either neural crest or placodal origin, neurons of the trigeminal ganglion derive from both populations. The Wnt signaling pathway is known to be required for the development of neural crest cells and for trigeminal ganglion formation, however, migrating neural crest cells do not express any known Wnt ligands. Here we demonstrate that Wise, a Wnt modulator expressed in the surface ectoderm overlying the trigeminal ganglion, play a role in promoting the assembly of placodal and neural crest cells. When overexpressed in chick, Wise causes delamination of ectodermal cells and attracts migrating neural crest cells. Overexpression of Wise is thus sufficient to ectopically induce ganglion-like structures consisting of both origins. The function of Wise is likely synergized with Wnt6, expressed in an overlapping manner with Wise in the surface ectoderm. Electroporation of morpholino antisense oligonucleotides against Wise and Wnt6 causes decrease in the contact of neural crest cells with the delaminated placode-derived cells. In addition, targeted deletion of Wise in mouse causes phenotypes that can be explained by a decrease in the contribution of neural crest cells to the ophthalmic lobe of the trigeminal ganglion. These data suggest that Wise is able to function cell non-autonomously on neural crest cells and promote trigeminal ganglion formation.

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