ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-090128-2
Developing a sense of scents: plasticity in olfactory placode formation
Whitlock, K.E.
Date: 2008
Source: Brain research bulletin   75(2-4): 340-347 (Review)
Registered Authors: Whitlock, Kate
Keywords: GnRH, Sensory neuron, Kallman, Hypothalamus
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Cell Movement
  • Ectoderm/cytology
  • Ectoderm/physiology*
  • Neuronal Plasticity/physiology*
  • Olfactory Pathways/cytology
  • Olfactory Pathways/embryology*
  • Smell/physiology*
PubMed: 18331896 Full text @ Brain Res. Bull.
The sense organs of the vertebrate head arise predominantly from sensory placodes. The sensory placodes have traditionally been grouped as structures that share common developmental and evolutionary characteristics. In attempts to build a coherent model for development of all placodes, the fascinating differences that make placodes unique are often overlooked. Here I review olfactory placode development with special attention to the origin and cell movements that generate the olfactory placode, the derivatives of this sensory placode, and the degree to which it shows plasticity during development. Next, through comparison with adenohypophyseal, and lens placodes I suggest we revise our thinking and terminology for these anterior placodes, specifically by: (1) referring to the peripheral olfactory sensory system as neural ectoderm because it expresses the same series of genes involved in neural differentiation and differentiates in tandem with the olfactory bulb, and (2) grouping the anterior placodes with their corresponding central nervous system structures and emphasizing patterning mechanisms shared between placodes and these targets. Sensory systems did not arise independent of the central nervous system; they are part of a functional unit composed of peripheral sensory structures and their targets. By expanding our analyses of sensory system development to also include cell movements, gene expression and morphological changes observed in this functional unit, we will better understand the evolution of sensory structures.