[The development of the nervous system: from fly to fish, from fish to man...]

Med Sci (Paris). 2003 May;19(5):575-81. doi: 10.1051/medsci/2003195575.
[Article in French]


The nervous system of vertebrates is more complex and less tractable than that of current model organisms such as the fly and the nematode. Here we present a vertebrate sensory system which is structurally simple, experimentally accessible and genetically suitable: the lateral line of the zebra-fish. We review our recent work on the development of this system, with a particular emphasis on the migration events that shape the pattern of sense organs. Some of the factors involved in these migration events turn out to be similar to the factors that direct the formation of metastases in specific types of human cancers, illustrating once again the remarkable conservation of developmental mechanisms and genes throughout the animal kingdom.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animal Structures / embryology
  • Animals
  • Cell Movement
  • Drosophila melanogaster / embryology
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / cytology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Morphogenesis
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Organ Specificity
  • Receptors, CXCR4 / physiology
  • Sense Organs / cytology
  • Sense Organs / embryology*
  • Species Specificity
  • Vertebrates / embryology
  • Zebrafish / embryology*


  • Receptors, CXCR4