ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-121221-2
Fgf signaling governs cell fate in the zebrafish pineal complex
Clanton, J.A., Hope, K.D., and Gamse, J.T.
Date: 2013
Source: Development (Cambridge, England) 140(2): 323-332 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Clanton, Joshua, Gamse, Josh
Keywords: specification, determination, differentiation, epithalamus, zebrafish, neurons
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Brain/embryology*
  • Brain/metabolism*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Lineage
  • Enzyme Inhibitors/pharmacology
  • Epithalamus/metabolism
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors/metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Heat-Shock Proteins/metabolism
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence/methods
  • Mutation
  • Neurons/metabolism*
  • Pineal Gland/embryology*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Zebrafish
  • Zebrafish Proteins/metabolism*
PubMed: 23250206 Full text @ Development

Left-right (L-R) asymmetries in neuroanatomy exist throughout the animal kingdom, with implications for function and behavior. The molecular mechanisms that control formation of such asymmetries are beginning to be understood. Significant progress has been made by studying the zebrafish parapineal organ, a group of neurons on the left side of the epithalamus. Parapineal cells arise from the medially located pineal complex anlage and migrate to the left side of the brain. We have found that Fgf8a regulates a fate decision among anterior pineal complex progenitors that occurs just prior to the initiation of leftward migration. Cell fate analysis shows that in the absence of Fgf8a a subset of cells in the anterior pineal complex anlage differentiate as cone photoreceptors rather than parapineal neurons. Fgf8a acts permissively to promote parapineal fate in conjunction with the transcription factor Tbx2b, but might also block cone photoreceptor fate. We conclude that this subset of anterior pineal complex precursors, which normally become parapineal cells, are bipotential and require Fgf8a to maintain parapineal identity and/or prevent cone identity.