Aims: During vertebrate development, the posterior end of the embryo progressively elongates in a head-to-tail direction to form the body plan. Recent lineage tracing experiments revealed that bi-potent progenitors, called neuromesodermal progenitors (NMPs), produce caudal neural and mesodermal tissues during axial elongation. However, their precise location and contribution to spinal cord development remain elusive. Main methods: Here we used NMP-specific markers (Sox2 and BraT) and a genetic lineage tracing system to localize NMP progeny in vivo. Key findings: Sox2 and BraT double positive cells were initially located at the tail tip, but were later found in the caudal neural tube, which is a unique feature of mouse development. In the neural tube, they produced neural progenitors (NPCs) and contributed to the spinal cord gradually along the AP axis during axial elongation. Interestingly, NMP-derived NPCs preferentially contributed to the ventral side first and later to the dorsal side at the lumbar spinal cord level, which may be associated with atypical junctional neurulation in mice. Significance: Our current observations detail the contribution of NMP progeny to spinal cord elongation and provide insights into how different species uniquely execute caudal morphogenesis.
- Neural tube elongation
- Neuromesodermal progenitors
- Sensory neurons
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)