Expression of Pax-3 in the lateral neural plate is dependent on a Wnt-mediated signal from posterior nonaxial mesoderm

Dev Biol. 1999 Aug 15;212(2):366-80. doi: 10.1006/dbio.1999.9319.


During early patterning of the vertebrate neuraxis, the expression of the paired-domain transcription factor Pax-3 is induced in the lateral portions of the posterior neural plate via posteriorizing signals emanating from the late organizer and posterior nonaxial mesoderm. Using a dominant-negative approach, we show in explant assays that Pax-3 inductive activities from the organizer do not depend on FGF, retinoic acid, or XWnt-8, either alone or in combination, suggesting that the organizer may produce an unknown posteriorizing factor. However, Pax-3 inductive signals from posterior nonaxial mesoderm are Wnt-dependent. We show that Pax-3 expression in the lateral neural plate expands in XWnt-8-injected embryos and is blocked by dominant-negative XWnt-8. Similarly, we show that the homeodomain transcription factor Msx-1, which like Pax-3 is an early marker of the lateral neural plate, is induced by posterior nonaxial mesoderm and blocked by dominant-negative XWnt-8. Finally, we show that Rohon-Beard primary neurons, a cell type that develops within the lateral neural plate, are also blocked in vivo by dominant-negative Xwnt-8. Together these data support a model in which patterning of the lateral neural plate by Wnt-mediated signals is an early event that establishes a posteriolateral domain, marked by Pax-3 and Msx-1 expression, from which Rohon-Beard cells and neural crest will subsequently arise.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chick Embryo
  • Chimera
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Ectoderm / physiology
  • Embryonic Induction*
  • Homeodomain Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Mesoderm / physiology
  • Metamorphosis, Biological
  • Morphogenesis
  • Nervous System / embryology*
  • Neural Crest / embryology
  • Neurons, Afferent
  • PAX3 Transcription Factor
  • Paired Box Transcription Factors
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / metabolism*
  • Quail
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Transcription Factors / biosynthesis*
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Xenopus Proteins*
  • Xenopus laevis
  • Zebrafish Proteins*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • PAX3 Transcription Factor
  • Paired Box Transcription Factors
  • Pax3 protein, Xenopus
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Xenopus Proteins
  • Zebrafish Proteins
  • pax3a protein, zebrafish
  • wnt8a protein, Xenopus
  • Pax3 protein, mouse