Distribution of neurosensory progenitor pools during inner ear morphogenesis unveiled by cell lineage reconstruction

Elife. 2017 Jan 4;6:e22268. doi: 10.7554/eLife.22268.


Reconstructing the lineage of cells is central to understanding how the wide diversity of cell types develops. Here, we provide the neurosensory lineage reconstruction of a complex sensory organ, the inner ear, by imaging zebrafish embryos in vivo over an extended timespan, combining cell tracing and cell fate marker expression over time. We deliver the first dynamic map of early neuronal and sensory progenitor pools in the whole otic vesicle. It highlights the remodeling of the neuronal progenitor domain upon neuroblast delamination, and reveals that the order and place of neuroblasts' delamination from the otic epithelium prefigure their position within the SAG. Sensory and non-sensory domains harbor different proliferative activity contributing distinctly to the overall growth of the structure. Therefore, the otic vesicle case exemplifies a generic morphogenetic process where spatial and temporal cues regulate cell fate and functional organization of the rudiment of the definitive organ.

Keywords: cell biology; cell lineage; developmental biology; inner ear; morphogenesis; neurogenesis; progenitors; sensory development; stem cells; zebrafish.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Lineage*
  • Ear, Inner / cytology*
  • Ear, Inner / embryology*
  • Morphogenesis*
  • Optical Imaging
  • Sensory Receptor Cells / physiology*
  • Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Zebrafish*

Grant support

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.