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Dev Genes Evol. 1998 Mar;208(1):28-36.

Gangliogenesis in leech: morphogenetic processes leading to segmentation in the central nervous system.

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Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, 385 LSA, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-3200, USA.


Using intracellular lineage tracers to study the main neurogenic lineage (N lineage) of the glossiphoniid leech embryo, we have characterized events leading from continuous columns of segmental founder cells (nf and ns primary blast cells) to discrete, segmentally iterated ganglia. The separation between prospective ganglia was first evident as a fissure between the posterior boundary of nf- and the anterior boundary of ns-derived progeny. We also identified the sublineages of nf-derived cells that contribute parallel stripes of cells to each segment. These stripes of cells project ventrolaterally from the dorsolateral margin of each nascent ganglion to the ventral body wall. The position and orientation of the stripes suggests that they play a role in forming the posterior segmental nerve; they are not coincident with the ganglionic boundary, and they form well after the separation of ganglionic primordia. Previous work has shown that cells in the anterior stripe express the leech engrailed-class gene. Thus, in contrast to the role of cells expressing engrailed in Drosophila, the stripes of N-derived cells expressing an engrailed-class gene in leech do not seem to play a direct role in segmentation or segment polarity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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