Establishment and maintenance of the border of the neural plate in the chick: involvement of FGF and BMP activity

Mech Dev. 1999 Apr;82(1-2):51-66. doi: 10.1016/s0925-4773(99)00013-1.


We have investigated the cell interactions and signalling molecules involved in setting up and maintaining the border between the neural plate and the adjacent non-neural ectoderm in the chick embryo at primitive streak stages. msx-1, a target of BMP signalling, is expressed in this border at a very early stage. It is induced by FGF and by signals from the organizer, Hensen's node. The node also induces a ring of BMP-4, some distance away. By the early neurula stage, the edge of the neural plate is the only major site of BMP-4 and msx-1 expression, and is also the only site that responds to BMP inhibition or overexpression. At this time, the neural plate appears to have a low level of BMP antagonist activity. Using in vivo grafts and in vitro assays, we show that the position of the border is further maintained by interactions between non-neural and neural ectoderm. We conclude that the border develops by integration of signals from the organizer, the developing neural plate, the paraxial mesoderm and the non-neural epiblast, involving FGFs, BMPs and their inhibitors. We suggest that BMPs act in an autocrine way to maintain the border state.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein 4
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins / genetics
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins / physiology*
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Chick Embryo
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 8
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / genetics
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Glycoproteins / physiology
  • HMGB Proteins
  • High Mobility Group Proteins / genetics
  • High Mobility Group Proteins / physiology
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics
  • Homeodomain Proteins / physiology
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins*
  • MSX1 Transcription Factor
  • Mesoderm / physiology
  • Models, Neurological
  • Nervous System / embryology*
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / physiology
  • Proteins / physiology
  • SOXB1 Transcription Factors
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transcription Factors*


  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein 4
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
  • Carrier Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Glycoproteins
  • HMGB Proteins
  • High Mobility Group Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • MSX1 Transcription Factor
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Proteins
  • SOXB1 Transcription Factors
  • Transcription Factors
  • noggin protein
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 8
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors
  • chordin