Spatiotemporal expression patterns of mammalian chordin during postgastrulation embryogenesis and in postnatal brain

Dev Dyn. 2000 Apr;217(4):449-56. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0177(200004)217:4<449::AID-DVDY12>3.0.CO;2-8.


Chordin is an antagonist of TGFbeta-like bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) that plays roles in dorsoventral axis formation and in induction, maintenance and/or differentiation of neural tissue in early vertebrate embryogenesis. In contrast, little is known concerning possible roles for Chordin at later stages of vertebrate development and in the adult. To provide insights into possible postgastrulation roles for Chordin, we report the spatiotemporal expression patterns of Chordin in 8.5- to 15.5-dpc mouse embryos and in the postnatal mouse brain. Expression of Chordin in the primordia of most major organs from 10.5 dpc, including the brain, lung, heart, liver, kidney, thymus, and gut, suggests multiple functions for Chordin in organogenesis, potentially by means of interactions with TGFbeta-like BMPs. The relatively high levels of Chordin expression in condensing and differentiating cartilage elements from 11.5 dpc indicates a generalized role for Chordin throughout embryonic skeletogenesis. In the postnatal mouse brain, we demonstrate that Chordin is coexpressed with other components of the TGFbeta-like BMP signalling pathway in the cerebellum and hippocampus, sites of high synaptic plasticity, suggesting a role for Chordin in this process.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / embryology
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development
  • Gastrula
  • Gene Expression
  • Glycoproteins / biosynthesis*
  • Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins*
  • Mammals
  • Mice


  • Glycoproteins
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • chordin