Specification of the otic anteroposterior axis is one of the earliest patterning events during inner ear development. In zebrafish, Hedgehog signalling is necessary and sufficient to specify posterior otic identity between the 10 somite (otic placode) and 20 somite (early otic vesicle) stages. We now show that Fgf signalling is both necessary and sufficient for anterior otic specification during a similar period, a function that is completely separable from its earlier role in otic placode induction. In lia(-/-) (fgf3(-/-)) mutants, anterior otic character is reduced, but not lost altogether. Blocking all Fgf signalling at 10-20 somites, however, using the pan-Fgf inhibitor SU5402, results in the loss of anterior otic structures and a mirror image duplication of posterior regions. Conversely, overexpression of fgf3 during a similar period, using a heat-shock inducible transgenic line, results in the loss of posterior otic structures and a duplication of anterior domains. These phenotypes are opposite to those observed when Hedgehog signalling is altered. Loss of both Fgf and Hedgehog function between 10 and 20 somites results in symmetrical otic vesicles with neither anterior nor posterior identity, which, nevertheless, retain defined poles at the anterior and posterior ends of the ear. These data suggest that Fgf and Hedgehog act on a symmetrical otic pre-pattern to specify anterior and posterior otic identity, respectively. Each signalling pathway has instructive activity: neither acts simply to repress activity of the other, and, together, they appear to be key players in the specification of anteroposterior asymmetries in the zebrafish ear.
"A previous study showed that Fgf signaling was required for anterior identity (marked by expression of pax5) of the otic vesicle . Fgf3 was identified as a ligand in part responsible for regionalizing the otic vesicle, however only a partial loss of pax5 mRNA was observed. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Essential cellular components of the paired sensory organs of the vertebrate head are derived from transient thickenings of embryonic ectoderm known as cranial placodes. The epibranchial (EB) placodes give rise to sensory neurons of the EB ganglia that are responsible for relaying visceral sensations form the periphery to the central nervous system. Development of EB placodes and subsequent formation of EB ganglia is a multistep process regulated by various extrinsic factors, including fibroblast growth factors (Fgfs). We discovered that two Fgf ligands, Fgf3 and Fgf10a, cooperate to promote EB placode development. Whereas EB placodes are induced in the absence of Fgf3 and Fgf10a, they fail to express placode specific markers Pax2a and Sox3. Expression analysis and mosaic rescue experiments demonstrate that Fgf3 signal is derived from the endoderm, whereas Fgf10a is emitted from the lateral line system and the otic placode. Further analyses revealed that Fgf3 and Fgf10a activities are not required for cell proliferation or survival, but are required for placodal cells to undergo neurogenesis. Based on these data, we conclude that a combined loss of these Fgf factors results in a failure of the EB placode precursors to initiate a transcriptional program needed for maturation and subsequent neurogenesis. These findings highlight the importance and complexity of reiterated Fgf signaling during cranial placode formation and subsequent sensory organ development.
PLoS ONE 12/2013; 8(12):e85087. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0085087 · 3.23 Impact Factor
"NeuroD(þ) neuroblasts are fully committed to the neuronal fate, migration to, and proliferation within the CVG (Alsina et al., 2004). Data from FGF-GOF experiments in the zebrafish using a heatshock inducible FGF3 (hsp70:FGF3) transgenic line clearly demonstrate that FGF signaling is sufficient for neurogenesis and delamination in the otic vesicle (Hammond and Whitfield, 2011). Delaminating NeuroD( þ) neuroblasts are increased in the anteroventral domain and also ectopically expressed from the nonneural posteroventral otic domain. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The neurogenic cranial placodes are a unique transient epithelial niche of neural progenitor cells that give rise to multiple derivatives of the peripheral nervous system, particularly, the sensory neurons. Placode neurogenesis occurs throughout an extended period of time with epithelial cells continually recruited as neural progenitor cells. Sensory neuron development in the trigeminal, epibranchial, otic, and olfactory placodes coincides with detachment of these neuroblasts from the encompassing epithelial sheet, leading to delamination and ingression into the mesenchyme where they continue to differentiate as neurons. Multiple signaling pathways are known to direct placodal development. This review defines the signaling pathways working at the finite spatiotemporal period when neuronal selection within the placodes occurs, and neuroblasts concomitantly delaminate from the epithelium. Examining neurogenesis and delamination after initial placodal patterning and specification has revealed a common trend throughout the neurogenic placodes, which suggests that both activated FGF and attenuated Notch signaling activities are required for neurogenesis and changes in epithelial cell adhesion leading to delamination. We also address the varying roles of other pathways such as the Wnt and BMP signaling families during sensory neurogenesis and neuroblast delamination in the differing placodes.
"This suggests that the growth of the S otolith is tightly regulated during development so that the otolith grows to an appropriate size for acoustic sensory transduction. Previous studies indicate that the genes involved in OV patterning and hair cell formation are differentially expressed along the antero-posterior axis in the developing ear272829. Further studies are required to clarify whether these genes, or other genes and molecules, contribute to macular-specific protein synthesis or secretion processes that in turn contribute to otolith development. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hearing and bodily balance are different sensations initiated by a common mechanism. Both sound- and head movement-dependent mechanical displacement are converted into electrical signals by the sensory hair cells. The saccule and utricle inner ear organs, in combination with their central projections to the hindbrain, are considered essential in fish for separating auditory and vestibular stimuli. Here, we established an in vivo method in larval zebrafish to manipulate otolith growth. We found that the saccule containing a large otolith is necessary to detect sound, whereas the utricle containing a small otolith is not sufficient. Otolith removal and relocation altered otolith growth such that utricles with experimentally enlarged otoliths acquired the sense of sound. These results show that otolith biomineralization occurs in a region-specific manner, and suggest that regulation of otolith size in the larval zebrafish ear is crucial to differentially sense auditory and vestibular information.
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