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Development. 2011 Jul;138(14):2957-68. doi: 10.1242/dev.063784.

Sprouty genes prevent excessive FGF signalling in multiple cell types throughout development of the cerebellum.

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1
Department of Craniofacial Development, King's College London, London, UK.

Abstract

Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) and regulators of the FGF signalling pathway are expressed in several cell types within the cerebellum throughout its development. Although much is known about the function of this pathway during the establishment of the cerebellar territory during early embryogenesis, the role of this pathway during later developmental stages is still poorly understood. Here, we investigated the function of sprouty genes (Spry1, Spry2 and Spry4), which encode feedback antagonists of FGF signalling, during cerebellar development in the mouse. Simultaneous deletion of more than one of these genes resulted in a number of defects, including mediolateral expansion of the cerebellar vermis, reduced thickness of the granule cell layer and abnormal foliation. Analysis of cerebellar development revealed that the anterior cerebellar neuroepithelium in the early embryonic cerebellum was expanded and that granule cell proliferation during late embryogenesis and early postnatal development was reduced. We show that the granule cell proliferation deficit correlated with reduced sonic hedgehog (SHH) expression and signalling. A reduction in Fgfr1 dosage during development rescued these defects, confirming that the abnormalities are due to excess FGF signalling. Our data indicate that sprouty acts both cell autonomously in granule cell precursors and non-cell autonomously to regulate granule cell number. Taken together, our data demonstrate that FGF signalling levels have to be tightly controlled throughout cerebellar development in order to maintain the normal development of multiple cell types.

PMID:
21693512
PMCID:
PMC3119305
DOI:
10.1242/dev.063784
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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