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Anat Embryol (Berl). 1993 Jan;187(1):75-85.

Serotonin and morphogenesis. Transient expression of serotonin uptake and binding protein during craniofacial morphogenesis in the mouse.

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University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 27599-7090.


This study describes the timecourse of expression of low-affinity serotonin uptake sites in the developing craniofacial region of the mouse embryo. Whole mouse embryos were incubated in the presence of various serotonergic compounds followed by immunocytochemical localization of serotonin (5-HT) and its binding protein. In the gestational day 9 embryo (3-5 somites), 5-HT uptake was observed in the myocardium of the heart, the visceral yolk sac and foregut. A specific and transient pattern of 5-HT uptake was observed in the hindbrain neuroepithelium from day 9.5-11, where it was localized in rhombomeres 2-5 in the day 9.5 embryo. By day 10, when rhombomeres were no longer evident, uptake was present in the dorso-lateral neuroepithelium surrounding the fourth ventricle (rhombic lip; cerebellar anlage). Uptake of 5-HT was initially observed in the surface epithelium of the craniofacial region at day 10 (20-25 somites) and was greatly increased at day 11. The invaginating lens, nasal placode epithelium and otocyst also took up 5-HT at day 11. During these stages a 45 kD serotonin-binding protein (SBP) was expressed in craniofacial mesenchyme, and became progressively restricted to regions subjacent to epithelial uptake sites. These staining patterns were shown to be specific for 5-HT and SBP by their absence in embryos stained using preabsorbed antisera. The timecourse of these patterns are correlated with critical events in craniofacial morphogenesis including (1) onset of inductive epithelial-mesenchymal interactions, (2) invagination and fusion of placodal structures, (3) presence of rhombomeres, and (4) regions of low proliferative activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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