Expression of planar cell polarity genes during development of the mouse CNS


Dr A. M. Goffinet, as above.


Atypical cadherin (Celsr3) and the receptor Frizzled3 (Fzd3) are crucial for the development of axonal tracts in the mouse CNS. Celsr3 and Fzd3 are orthologues of the Drosophila‘planar cell polarity’ (PCP) genes flamingo/starry night (fmi/stan) and frizzled, respectively. Reasoning that Celsr3 and Fzd3 might interact with PCP orthologues in mammals like they do in flies, we used mRNA in situ hybridization to compare the expression of Celsr3 and Fzd3 with that of dishevelled 1, 2 and 3 (Dvl1–3), van gogh-like 1 and 2 (Vangl1, 2), and prickle-like 1 and 2 (Prickle1, 2), during mouse CNS development, from embryonic day 10.5 to postnatal day 21. With the relative exception of Vangl1, all genes were expressed in the developing CNS. Although Celsr3- and Fzd3-deficient mice have similar phenotypes, Fzd3 expression was more widespread than that of Celsr3. Vangl2 and Dvl2 were preferentially expressed in ventricular zones, in keeping with their role during neural tube closure, where they could be partners of Celsr1. Dvl1 had a broad expression, reminiscent of that of Celsr2, and may be involved in neural maintenance. A large overlap in the expression territories of Dvl genes suggested redundancy. Vangl1 and Prickle1 had expression canvases different from each other and from other candidates, indicating unrelated function. Like Celsr3, Dvl3 and Prickle2 were expressed more strongly in postmitotic neurons than in precursors. Thus, the analogy between the PCP and Celsr3Fzd3 genetic networks is limited, but may include Dvl3 and/or Prickle2.