Yu, H.H., Houart, C., and Moens, C.B. (2004) Cloning and embryonic expression of zebrafish neuropilin genes. Gene expression patterns : GEP. 4(4):371-378.
Neuropilin (Nrp), a cell surface receptor for class 3 semaphorins and for certain heparin forms of vascular endothelial growth factors, functions in many biological processes including axon guidance, neural cell migration and angiogenesis in the development of the nervous system and the cardiovascular system. To understand the role of neuropilins in zebrafish embryogenesis, we have cloned three zebrafish neuropilin homologues, nrp1b, nrp2a and nrp2b. Based on synteny, zebrafish nrp1b and the previously cloned nrp1a are orthologous to human nrp1, and zebrafish nrp2a and 2b orthologous to human nrp2. We have characterized the expression patterns of these four zebrafish neuropilin genes in wild type embryos from the beginning of somitogenesis to 48 h post-fertilization. Zebrafish nrp1a is expressed in the neural tube including telencephalon, epithalamus, cells along the axonal trajectory of the posterior commissure and the medial longitudinal fascicle, hindbrain neurons, vagus motor neurons and spinal motoneurons. Zebrafish nrp1b is expressed in the nose, the cranial neural crest cell (NCC) derived tissue underlying the hypothalamus, endothelial precursors and the trunk and tail vasculature. Zebrafish nrp2a is expressed in telencephalon, anterior pituitary, oculomotor and trochlear motor neurons, cells along the supra-optic and posterior commissures, hindbrain rhombomere 1, hindbrain neurons, cranial NCCs and sclerotome. Zebrafish nrp2b is expressed in telencephalon, thalamus, hypothalamus, epiphysis, cells along the anterior and posterior commissures, post-optic and supra-optic commissures and the olfactory axonal trajectory, hindbrain neurons, cranial NCCs, somites and spinal cord neurons.