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Dev Biol. 2011 May 1;353(1):94-104. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2011.02.022. Epub 2011 Feb 26.

Sprouty1 and Sprouty2 limit both the size of the otic placode and hindbrain Wnt8a by antagonizing FGF signaling.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Children's Research Institute, Medical College of Wisconsin, 8701 Watertown Plank Road, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA.


Multiple signaling molecules, including Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF) and Wnt, induce two patches of ectoderm on either side of the hindbrain to form the progenitor cell population for the inner ear, or otic placode. Here we report that in Spry1, Spry2 compound mutant embryos (Spry1⁻/⁻; Spry2⁻/⁻ embryos), the otic placode is increased in size. We demonstrate that the otic placode is larger due to the recruitment of cells, normally destined to become cranial epidermis, into the otic domain. The enlargement of the otic placode observed in Spry1⁻/⁻; Spry2⁻/⁻ embryos is preceded by an expansion of a Wnt8a expression domain in the adjacent hindbrain. We demonstrate that both the enlargement of the otic placode and the expansion of the Wnt8a expression domain can be rescued in Spry1⁻/⁻; Spry2⁻/⁻ embryos by reducing the gene dosage of Fgf10. Our results define a FGF-responsive window during which cells can be continually recruited into the otic domain and uncover SPRY regulation of the size of a putative Wnt inductive center.

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