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Keywords:

  • neural crest;
  • epibranchial placode;
  • parasympathetic ganglion;
  • visceral sensory ganglion;
  • autonomic nervous system

Abstract

Background: The neural crest (NC) and placode are transient neurogenic cell populations that give rise to cranial ganglia of the vertebrate head. The formation of the anterior NC- and placode-derived ganglia has been shown to depend on the single activity of either Neurog1 or Neurog2. The requirement of the more posterior cranial ganglia on Neurog1 and Neurog2 is unknown. Results: Here we show that the formation of the NC-derived parasympathetic otic ganglia and placode-derived visceral sensory petrosal and nodose ganglia are dependent on the redundant activities of Neurog1 and Neurog2. Tamoxifen-inducible Cre lineage labeling of Neurog1 and Neurog2 show a dynamic spatiotemporal expression profile in both NC and epibranchial placode that correlates with the phenotypes of the Neurog-mutant embryos. Conclusion: Our data, together with previous studies, suggest that the formation of cranial ganglia along the anterior-posterior axis is dependent on the dynamic spatiotemporal activities of Neurog1 and/or Neurog2 in both NC and epibranchial placode. Developmental Dynamics 241:229–241, 2012. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.