Toro, S., and Varga, Z.M. (2007) Equivalent progenitor cells in the zebrafish anterior preplacodal field give rise to adenohypophysis, lens, and olfactory placodes. Seminars in Cell & Developmental Biology. 18(4):534-542.
Embryonic organizing centers secrete signaling molecules that instruct target cells about their position and future identity. Information about cell position in relation to sources of instructive signals and about precursor cell lineages is key to our understanding of developmental processes that restrict cell potency and determine cell fate. We review adenohypophysis, lens, and olfactory placode formation and how gene expression patterns, cell positions, and cell fates in the anterior neural plate and anterior placodal field correlate in zebrafish and other vertebrates. Single cell lineage analysis in zebrafish suggests that the majority of preplacodal cells might be specified for pituitary, lens, or olfactory placode by the end of gastrulation.