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Dev Biol. 2009 Mar 15;327(2):313-26. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2008.12.010. Epub 2008 Dec 24.

EphA4 and EfnB2a maintain rhombomere coherence by independently regulating intercalation of progenitor cells in the zebrafish neural keel.

Author information

1
Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Division of Basic Science, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, B2-152, 1100 Fairview Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98109, P.O. Box 19024, USA.

Abstract

During vertebrate development, the hindbrain is transiently segmented into 7 distinct rhombomeres (r). Hindbrain segmentation takes place within the context of the complex morphogenesis required for neurulation, which in zebrafish involves a characteristic cross-midline division that distributes progenitor cells bilaterally in the forming neural tube. The Eph receptor tyrosine kinase EphA4 and the membrane-bound Ephrin (Efn) ligand EfnB2a, which are expressed in complementary segments in the early hindbrain, are required for rhombomere boundary formation. We showed previously that EphA4 promotes cell-cell affinity within r3 and r5, and proposed that preferential adhesion within rhombomeres contributes to boundary formation. Here we show that EfnB2a is similarly required in r4 for normal cell affinity and that EphA4 and EfnB2a regulate cell affinity independently within their respective rhombomeres. Live imaging of cell sorting in mosaic embryos shows that both proteins function during cross-midline cell divisions in the hindbrain neural keel. Consistent with this, mosaic EfnB2a over-expression causes widespread cell sorting and disrupts hindbrain organization, but only if induced at or before neural keel stage. We propose a model in which Eph and Efn-dependent cell affinity within rhombomeres serve to maintain rhombomere organization during the potentially disruptive process of teleost neurulation.

PMID:
19135438
PMCID:
PMC2861865
DOI:
10.1016/j.ydbio.2008.12.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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