ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-140116-2
Retinoic acid controls proper head-to-trunk linkage in zebrafish by regulating an anteroposterior somitogenetic rate difference
Retnoaji, B., Akiyama, R., Matta, T., Bessho, Y., and Matsui, T.
Date: 2014
Source: Development (Cambridge, England)   141(1): 158-165 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Akiyama, Ryutaro, Matsui, Takaaki
Keywords: Axis elongation, Live imaging, Somitogenesis, Zebrafish
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors/antagonists & inhibitors
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors/biosynthesis
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors/metabolism*
  • Body Patterning/genetics
  • Body Patterning/physiology*
  • Cervical Vertebrae/embryology
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Morpholinos/genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins/biosynthesis
  • Nuclear Proteins/metabolism*
  • Retinal Dehydrogenase/genetics
  • Signal Transduction
  • Somites/embryology*
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Tretinoin/metabolism*
  • Zebrafish/embryology*
  • Zebrafish/metabolism
  • Zebrafish Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors
  • Zebrafish Proteins/biosynthesis
  • Zebrafish Proteins/genetics
  • Zebrafish Proteins/metabolism*
PubMed: 24284210 Full text @ Development

During vertebrate development, the primary body axis elongates towards the posterior and is periodically divided into somites, which give rise to the vertebrae, skeletal muscles and dermis. Somites form periodically from anterior to posterior, and the anterior somites form in a more rapid cycle than the posterior somites. However, how this anteroposterior (AP) difference in somitogenesis is generated and how it contributes to the vertebrate body plan remain unclear. Here, we show that the AP difference in zebrafish somitogenesis originates from a variable overlapping segmentation period between one somite and the next. The AP difference is attributable to spatiotemporal inhibition of the clock gene her1 via retinoic acid (RA) regulation of the transcriptional repressor ripply1. RA depletion thus disrupts timely somite formation at the transition, eventually leading to the loss of one somite and the resultant cervical vertebra. Overall, our results indicate that RA regulation of the AP difference is crucial for proper linkage between the head and trunk in the vertebrate body plan.