Dougherty, M., Kamel, G., Shubinets, V., Hickey, G., Grimaldi, M., and Liao, E.C. (2012) Embryonic Fate Map of First Pharyngeal Arch Structures in the sox10: kaede Zebrafish Transgenic Model. The Journal of craniofacial surgery. 23(5):1333-1337.
Cranial neural crest cells follow stereotypic patterns of migration to form craniofacial structures. The zebrafish is a powerful vertebrate genetic model where transgenics with reporter proteins under the transcriptional regulation of lineage-specific promoters can be generated. Numerous studies demonstrate that the zebrafish ethmoid plate is embryologically analogous to the mammalian palate. A fate map correlating embryonic cranial neural crest to defined jaw structures would provide a useful context for the morphogenetic analysis of craniofacial development. To that end, the sox10:kaede transgenic was generated, where sox10 provides lineage restriction to the neural crest. Specific regions of neural crest were labeled at the 10-somite stage by photoconversion of the kaede reporter protein. Lineage analysis was carried out during pharyngeal development in wild-type animals, after miR140 injection, and after estradiol treatment. At the 10-somite stage, cranial neural crest cells anterior of the eye contributed to the median ethmoid plate, whereas cells medial to the eye formed the lateral ethmoid plate and trabeculae and a posterior population formed the mandible. miR-140 overexpression and estradiol inhibition of Hedgehog signaling resulted in cleft development, with failed migration of the anterior cell population to form the median ethmoid plate. The sox10:kaede transgenic line provides a useful tool for neural crest lineage analysis. These studies illustrate the advantages of the zebrafish model for application in morphogenetic studies of vertebrate craniofacial development.