Regional specification of motoneurons along the anterior-posterior axis is independent of the notochord

Mikiko Fukushima, Masaaki Nakamura, Kunimasa Ohta, Ryouichi Okamura, Akira Negi, Hideaki Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Cek8 and low affinity NGF receptor (LNGFR) are expressed at high levels on the chick spinal motoneurons of the brachial and lumbar segments from embryonic day (E) 5 to E7, but weakly on the motoneurons of the non-limb-innervating segments. We determined by means of heterotopic neural tube transplantation, that the expression of these molecules was already intrinsically determined at E2. We used these spatiotemporal specific molecules as markers of motoneuron subpopulations. To analyze how motoneurons acquire regional specification along the anterior-posterior (A-P) axis and in the transverse plane, we observed the expression of these molecules on ectopic motoneurons induced by implanting a supernumerary notochord or floor plate at E2. The ectopic motoneurons induced by the graft obtained from either the thoracic or lumbar segments had the same expression profile as the normal motoneurons at each A-P level. These findings suggest that regional specification of motoneurons, at least of Cek8 and LNGFR expression, is independent of the notochord and the floor plate and that the whole neural tube appears to be committed to differentiate into the motoneuron subtypes along the A-P axis at the operative stages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)905-914
Number of pages10
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1996
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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