The expression of all four fgfr genes was extensively examined throughout early embryogenesis of the zebrafish (Danio rerio). fgfr1 alone was expressed maternally throughout the blastoderm, and then zygotically in the anterior neural plate and presomitic mesoderm. fgfr4 expression was first detected in late blastulae and was gradually restricted to the brain. fgfr2 and fgfr3 expression were initiated in early and late gastrulae, respectively; fgfr2 was expressed in the anterior neural plate and somitic mesoderm, whereas fgfr3 was activated in the axial mesoderm and then in the midbrain and somitic mesoderm. During somitogenesis, each of these fgfr genes was expressed in a characteristic manner in the brain. Using an FGF signal inhibitor, dominant-negative FGF receptors and fgf8.1/fgf8a mutants, we found that fgfr expression is directly or indirectly regulated by FGF signaling during epiboly and at the end of somitogenesis, revealing the presence of an autoregulatory mechanism.
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