Retinoic Acid Signalling Links Left-Right Asymmetric Patterning and Bilaterally Symmetric Somitogenesis in the Zebrafish Embryo

Nature. 2005 May 12;435(7039):165-71. doi: 10.1038/nature03512.

Abstract

During embryogenesis, cells are spatially patterned as a result of highly coordinated and stereotyped morphogenetic events. In the vertebrate embryo, information on laterality is conveyed to the node, and subsequently to the lateral plate mesoderm, by a complex cascade of epigenetic and genetic events, eventually leading to a left-right asymmetric body plan. At the same time, the paraxial mesoderm is patterned along the anterior-posterior axis in metameric units, or somites, in a bilaterally symmetric fashion. Here we characterize a cascade of laterality information in the zebrafish embryo and show that blocking the early steps of this cascade (before it reaches the lateral plate mesoderm) results in random left-right asymmetric somitogenesis. We also uncover a mechanism mediated by retinoic acid signalling that is crucial in buffering the influence of the flow of laterality information on the left-right progression of somite formation, and thus in ensuring bilaterally symmetric somitogenesis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Patterning / physiology*
  • Cilia / physiology
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / embryology
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Somites / cytology
  • Somites / metabolism*
  • Tretinoin / metabolism*
  • Zebrafish / embryology*
  • Zebrafish / genetics
  • Zebrafish / metabolism*

Substances

  • Tretinoin

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AY881012
  • GENBANK/AY904031