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Development 1991 Dec 01;1134:1495-505.
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Hensen's node induces neural tissue in Xenopus ectoderm. Implications for the action of the organizer in neural induction.

Kintner CR , Dodd J .

The development of the vertebrate nervous system is initiated in amphibia by inductive interactions between ectoderm and a region of the embryo called the organizer. The organizer tissue in the dorsal lip of the blastopore of Xenopus and Hensen's node in chick embryos have similar neural inducing properties when transplanted into ectopic sites in their respective embryos. To begin to determine the nature of the inducing signals of the organizer and whether they are conserved across species we have examined the ability of Hensen's node to induce neural tissue in Xenopus ectoderm. We show that Hensen's node induces large amounts of neural tissue in Xenopus ectoderm. Neural induction proceeds in the absence of mesodermal differentiation and is accompanied by tissue movements which may reflect notoplate induction. The competence of the ectoderm to respond to Hensen's node extends much later in development than that to activin-A or to induction by vegetal cells, and parallels the extended competence to neural induction by axial mesoderm. The actions of activin-A and Hensen's node are further distinguished by their effects on lithium-treated ectoderm. These results suggest that neural induction can occur efficiently in response to inducing signals from organizer tissue arrested at a stage prior to gastrulation, and that such early interactions in the blastula may be an important component of neural induction in vertebrate embryos.

PubMed ID: 1811955

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: en2 hoxa9 ncam1
Antibodies: Somite Ab1