Increased β-catenin activity in the anterior neural plate induces ectopic mid-hindbrain characteristics

Authors

  • Hunki Paek,

    1. Departments of Neuroscience and Genetics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York
    Current affiliation:
    1. Departments of Pathology and Cell Biology, Neurology and Neuroscience, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY 10032
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Michelle W. Antoine,

    1. Departments of Neuroscience and Genetics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York
    Search for more papers by this author
    • ‡, †

      ‡Michelle W. Antoine and Frank Diaz contributed equally to this work.

  • Frank Diaz,

    1. Departments of Neuroscience and Genetics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York
    Search for more papers by this author
    • ‡, †

      ‡Michelle W. Antoine and Frank Diaz contributed equally to this work.

  • Jean M. Hébert

    Corresponding author
    1. Departments of Neuroscience and Genetics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York
    • Department of Neuroscience, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, 10464
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Background: The early telencephalon shares molecular features with the early mid-hindbrain region. In particular, these two developing brain areas each have a signaling center that secretes FGFs and an adjacent one that secretes WNTs. WNTs and FGFs each play essential roles in regulating cell fates in both the telencephalon and mid-hindbrain. Despite this similarity, telencephalic and mid-hindbrain precursors express distinct genes and ultimately generate different cell types, tissue morphologies, and neural functions. Results: Here we show that genetically increasing the level of β-catenin, a mediator of canonical WNT signaling, in the anterior neural plate causes a loss of telencephalic characteristics and a gain of mid-hindbrain characteristics. Conclusion: These results, together with previous ones demonstrating that increased WNT signaling in the anterior neural plate increases FGF expression, suggest that the levels of WNT and FGF signaling regulate telencephalic versus mid-hindbrain fates. Developmental Dynamics 241:242–246, 2012. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Ancillary