ZFIN ID: ZDB-LAB-050503-1
Rohr Lab
PI/Director: Rohr, Klaus
Contact Person: Rohr, Klaus
Email: klaus.rohr@uni-koeln.de
URL: http://www.uni-koeln.de/math-nat-fak/ebio/Deutsch/Rohr/index.html
Address: Department of Developmental Biology University of Cologne Gyrhofstrasse 17 Köln, 50923 Germany
Country: Germany
Phone: +49 221 470 2068
Fax: +49 221 470 5164
Line Designation: None assigned


Molecular and cellular aspects of thyroid development
The thyroid gland develops from the ventral midline of the pharynx. After evagination from the pharyngeal epithelium, the thyroid primordium relocates deep into the cervical mesenchyme, in humans finally reaching a position at the base of the neck, in front of the trachea. In humans, defects in thyroid development can cause absence of the thyroid gland at birth (agenesis) or malformations like ectopic localisation of the gland. Such defects can compromise thyroid hormone production and then lead to congenital hypothyroidism. The molecular, genetic and cellular basis of thyroid development is poorly understood. A few genes have been identified to be required for thyroid development, most of them encoding transcription factors that are required in primordial cells for differentiation and, at least in part, for later thyroid hormone production. However, it is still unknown how the thyroid primordium is
induced, what the molecular mechanisms of relocation ("migration") are and how the gland is morphogenetically shaped.

In our current projects, we analyse various aspects of thyroid development mainly in zebrafish, and to a lesser extend also in mouse and lamprey. Our goal is to understand how the gland develops on the cellular and molecular level. Identification and characterisation of zebrafish mutants allow us to identify so far unknown genes required for thyroid development. Zebrafish embryos are particularly well suited for analyses and embryonic manipulation due to their transparency, rapid development, and large clutches of eggs. Morphologically, the zebrafish thyroid develops basically like in other vertebrates. A minor difference is that fish do not form a compact gland, but have their thyroid tissue dispersed along the ventral aorta (anatomically this is very similar to the position of the
gland in mammals). Molecular mechanisms are conserved: we found that the genes Thyroid Transcription Factor1, Pax8, and Hhex have comparable functions in zebrafish and mouse thyroid development.

Alt, Burkhard Graduate Student Elsalini, Osama Graduate Student Wendl, Thomas Graduate Student
von Gartzen, Julia Technical Staff Adzic, Dejan Reibe, Saskia

Wendl, T., Adzic, D., Schoenebeck, J.J., Scholpp, S., Brand, M., Yelon, D., and Rohr, K.B. (2007) Early developmental specification of the thyroid gland depends on han-expressing surrounding tissue and on FGF signals. Development (Cambridge, England). 134(15):2871-2879
Songhet, P., Adzic, D., Reibe, S., and Rohr, K.B. (2007) fgf1 is required for normal differentiation of erythrocytes in zebrafish primitive hematopoiesis. Developmental dynamics : an official publication of the American Association of Anatomists. 236(3):633-643
To, T.T., Hahner, S., Nica, G., Rohr, K.B., Hammerschmidt, M., Winkler, C., and Allolio, B. (2007) Pituitary-interrenal interaction in zebrafish interrenal organ development. Molecular endocrinology (Baltimore, Md.). 21(2):472-485
Alt, B., Elsalini, O.A., Schrumpf, P., Haufs, N., Lawson, N.D., Schwabe, G.C., Mundlos, S., Gruters, A., Krude, H., and Rohr, K.B. (2006) Arteries define the position of the thyroid gland during its developmental relocalisation. Development (Cambridge, England). 133(19):3797-3804
Alt, B., Reibe, S., Feitosa, N.M., Elsalini, O.A., Wendl, T., and Rohr, K.B. (2006) Analysis of origin and growth of the thyroid gland in zebrafish. Developmental dynamics : an official publication of the American Association of Anatomists. 235(7):1872-1883
Elsalini, O.A., Gartzen, J., Cramer, M., and Rohr, K.B. (2003) Zebrafish hhex, nk2.1a, and pax2.1 regulate thyroid growth and differentiation downstream of Nodal-dependent transcription factors. Developmental Biology. 263(1):67-80
Gajewski, M., Sieger, D., Alt, B., Leve, C., Hans, S., Wolff, C., Rohr, K.B., and Tautz, D. (2003) Anterior and posterior waves of cyclic her1 gene expression are differentially regulated in the presomitic mesoderm of zebrafish. Development (Cambridge, England). 130(18):4269-4278
Elsalini, O.A. and Rohr, K.B. (2003) Phenylthiourea disrupts thyroid function in developing zebrafish. Development genes and evolution. 212(12):593-598
Wendl, T., Lun, K., Mione, M., Favor, J., Brand, M., Wilson, S.W., and Rohr, K.B. (2002) pax2.1 is required for the development of thyroid follicles in zebrafish. Development (Cambridge, England). 129(15):3751-3760
Leve, C., Gajewski, M., Rohr, K.B., and Tautz, D. (2001) Homologues of c-hairy1 (her9) and lunatic fringe in zebrafish are expressed in the developing central nervous system, but not in the presomitic mesoderm. Development genes and evolution. 211(10):493-500
Rohr, K.B., Barth, K.A., Varga, Z.M., and Wilson, S.W. (2001) The nodal pathway acts upstream of hedgehog signaling to specify ventral telencephalic identity. Neuron. 29(2):341-351
Norton, W.H., Rohr, K.B., and Burnstock, G. (2000) Embryonic expression of a P2X3 receptor encoding gene in zebrafish. Mechanisms of Development. 99(1-2):149-152
Rohr, K.B. and Concha, M.L. (2000) Expression of nk2.1a during early development of the thyroid gland in zebrafish. Mechanisms of Development. 95(1-2):267-270
Barth, K.A., Kishimoto, Y., Rohr, K.B., Seydler, C., Schulte-Merker, S., and Wilson, S.W. (1999) Bmp activity establishes a gradient of positional information throughout the entire neural plate. Development (Cambridge, England). 126(22):4977-4987
Rohr, K.B., Schulte-Merker, S., and Tautz, D. (1999) Zebrafish zic1 expression in brain and somites is affected by BMP and hedgehog signalling. Mechanisms of Development. 85(1-2):147-159