ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-100317-17
Hedgehog signaling governs the development of otic sensory epithelium and its associated innervation in zebrafish
Sapède, D., and Pujades, C.
Date: 2010
Source: The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience   30(10): 3612-3623 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Pujades, Cristina
Keywords: none
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Cell Differentiation/genetics
  • Cell Differentiation/physiology*
  • Ear, Inner/cytology
  • Ear, Inner/embryology
  • Ear, Inner/innervation*
  • Epithelium/embryology
  • Epithelium/innervation*
  • Epithelium/metabolism
  • Hair Cells, Auditory, Inner/cytology
  • Hair Cells, Auditory, Inner/metabolism
  • Hair Cells, Auditory, Inner/physiology*
  • Hedgehog Proteins/physiology*
  • Models, Genetic
  • Neuroepithelial Cells/cytology
  • Neuroepithelial Cells/metabolism
  • Neuroepithelial Cells/physiology
  • Signal Transduction/physiology*
  • Zebrafish
  • Zebrafish Proteins/physiology*
PubMed: 20219995 Full text @ J. Neurosci.
The inner ear is responsible for the perception of motion and sound in vertebrates. Its functional unit, the sensory patch, contains mechanosensory hair cells innervated by sensory neurons from the statoacoustic ganglion (SAG) that project to the corresponding nuclei in the brainstem. How hair cells develop at specific positions, and how otic neurons are sorted to specifically innervate each endorgan and to convey the extracted information to the hindbrain is not completely understood. In this work, we study the generation of macular sensory patches and investigate the role of Hedgehog (Hh) signaling in the production of their neurosensory elements. Using zebrafish transgenic lines to visualize the dynamics of hair cell and neuron production, we show that the development of the anterior and posterior maculae is asynchronic, suggesting they are independently regulated. Tracing experiments demonstrate the SAG is topologically organized in two different neuronal subpopulations, which are spatially segregated and innervate specifically each macula. Functional experiments identify the Hh pathway as crucial in coordinating the production of hair cells in the posterior macula, and the formation of its specific innervation. Finally, gene expression analyses suggest that Hh influences the balance between different SAG neuronal subpopulations. These results lead to a model in which Hh orients functionally the development of inner ear towards an auditory fate in all vertebrate species.