3 years ago

Unipotent progenitors contribute to the generation of sensory cell types in the nervous system of the cnidarian Nematostella vectensis

Nervous systems often consist of a large number of different types of neurons which are generated from neural stem and progenitor cells by a series of symmetric and asymmetric divisions. The origin and early evolution of these neural progenitor systems is not well understood. Here we use a cnidarian model organism, Nematostella vectensis, to gain insight into the generation of neural cell type diversity in a non-bilaterian animal. We identify NvFoxQ2d as a transcription factor that is expressed in a population of spatially restricted, proliferating ectodermal cells that are derived from NvSoxB(2)-expressing neural progenitor cells. Using a transgenic reporter line we show that the NvFoxQ2d cells undergo a terminal, symmetric division to generate a morphologically homogeneous population of putative sensory cells. The abundance of these cells, but not their proliferation status is affected by treatment with the γ-secretase inhibitor DAPT, suggesting regulation by Notch signalling. Our data suggest that intermediate progenitor cells and symmetric divisions contribute to the formation of the seemingly simple nervous system of a sea anemone.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0012160617300143

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