Mechanisms of roof plate formation in the vertebrate CNS

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2004 Oct;5(10):808-12. doi: 10.1038/nrn1520.


The roof plate is an embryonic organizing centre that occupies the dorsal midline of the vertebrate neural tube. During early CNS development, the roof plate produces secreted factors, which control the specification and differentiation of dorsal neuronal cell types. An appreciation of the signalling properties of the roof plate has prompted an enhanced interest in this important organizing centre, and several recent studies have begun to illuminate the molecular mechanisms of roof plate development.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Patterning / physiology*
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Lineage / physiology
  • Central Nervous System / cytology
  • Central Nervous System / embryology*
  • Central Nervous System / physiology
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian
  • Embryonic Induction / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / physiology
  • Homeodomain Proteins / metabolism
  • Neural Crest / embryology
  • Neural Crest / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Vertebrates


  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins