ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-130816-43
Neuropeptides: developmental signals in placode progenitor formation
Lleras-Forero, L., Tambalo, M., Christophorou, N., Chambers, D., Houart, C., and Streit, A.
Date: 2013
Source: Developmental Cell   26(2): 195-203 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Chambers, David, Houart, Corinne
Keywords: none
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Chick Embryo
  • Eye Proteins/biosynthesis
  • Eye Proteins/metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Homeodomain Proteins/biosynthesis
  • Homeodomain Proteins/metabolism*
  • Lens, Crystalline/cytology
  • Lens, Crystalline/embryology*
  • Lens, Crystalline/metabolism
  • Olfactory Bulb/cytology
  • Olfactory Bulb/embryology*
  • Olfactory Bulb/metabolism
  • Olfactory Mucosa/cytology
  • Olfactory Mucosa/embryology*
  • Olfactory Mucosa/metabolism
  • Opioid Peptides/biosynthesis
  • Opioid Peptides/metabolism*
  • Paired Box Transcription Factors/biosynthesis
  • Paired Box Transcription Factors/metabolism*
  • Repressor Proteins/biosynthesis
  • Repressor Proteins/metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Somatostatin/metabolism*
  • Stem Cells/cytology*
  • Stem Cells/physiology
  • Zebrafish/embryology
  • Zebrafish Proteins/metabolism
PubMed: 23906067 Full text @ Dev. Cell

Few families of signaling factors have been implicated in the control of development. Here, we identify the neuropeptides nociceptin and somatostatin, a neurotransmitter and neuroendocrine hormone, as a class of developmental signals in both chick and zebrafish. We show that signals from the anterior mesendoderm are required for the formation of anterior placode progenitors, with one of the signals being somatostatin. Somatostatin controls ectodermal expression of nociceptin, and both peptides regulate Pax6 in lens and olfactory progenitors. Consequently, loss of somatostatin and nociceptin signaling leads to severe reduction of lens formation. Our findings not only uncover these neuropeptides as developmental signals but also identify a long-sought-after mechanism that initiates Pax6 in placode progenitors and may explain the ancient evolutionary origin of neuropeptides, predating a complex nervous system.