Planar induction of anteroposterior pattern in the developing central nervous system of Xenopus laevis

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Science  24 Jul 1992:
Vol. 257, Issue 5069, pp. 542-545
DOI: 10.1126/science.1636091


It has long been thought that anteroposterior (A-P) pattern in the vertebrate central nervous system is induced in the embryo's dorsal ectoderm exclusively by signals passing vertically from underlying, patterned dorsal mesoderm. Explants from early gastrulae of the frog Xenopus laevis were prepared in which vertical contact between dorsal ectoderm and mesoderm was prevented but planar contact was maintained. In these, four position-specific neural markers (engrailed-2, Krox-20, XlHbox 1, and XlHbox 6) were expressed in the ectoderm in the same A-P order as in the embryo. Thus, planar signals alone, following a path available in the normal embryo, can induce A-P neural pattern.

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