ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-170209-7
How fish color their skin: A paradigm for development and evolution of adult patterns: Multipotency, plasticity, and cell competition regulate proliferation and spreading of pigment cells in Zebrafish coloration
Nüsslein-Volhard, C., Singh, A.P.
Pigment cells in zebrafish - melanophores, iridophores, and xanthophores - originate from neural crest-derived stem cells associated with the dorsal root ganglia of the peripheral nervous system. Clonal analysis indicates that these progenitors remain multipotent and plastic beyond embryogenesis well into metamorphosis, when the adult color pattern develops. Pigment cells share a lineage with neuronal cells of the peripheral nervous system; progenitors propagate along the spinal nerves. The proliferation of pigment cells is regulated by competitive interactions among cells of the same type. An even spacing involves collective migration and contact inhibition of locomotion of the three cell types distributed in superimposed monolayers in the skin. This mode of coloring the skin is probably common to fish, whereas different patterns emerge by species specific cell interactions among the different pigment cell types. These interactions are mediated by channels involved in direct cell contact between the pigment cells, as well as unknown cues provided by the tissue environment.
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