Herpin, A., Fischer, P., Liedtke, D., Kluever, N., Neuner, C., Raz, E., and Schartl, M. (2008) Sequential SDF1a and b-induced mobility guides Medaka PGC migration. Developmental Biology. 320(2):319-327.
Assembly and formation of the gonad primordium are the first steps toward gonad differentiation and subsequent sex differentiation. Primordial germ cells (PGCs) give rise to the gametes that are responsible for the development of a new organism in the next generation. In many organisms, following their specification the germ cells migrate toward the location of the prospective gonadal primordium. To accomplish this, the PGCs obtain directional cues from cells positioned along their migration path. One such cue, the chemokine SDF1 (stromal cell-derived factor 1) and its receptor CXCR4 have recently been found to be critical for proper PGC migration in zebrafish, chick and mouse. We have studied the mechanisms responsible for PGC migration in Medaka. In contrast to the situation observed in zebrafish, where proper PGC positioning is the result of active migration in the direction of the source of SDF1a, Medaka PGC movements are shown to be the consequence of a combination of active SDF1a and SDF1b-guided migration. In this process both SDF1 co-orthologues show only partly overlapping expression pattern and cooperate in the correct positioning of the PGCs.