Published on Mon Aug 02 2021

Completion of neural crest cell production and emigration is regulated by retinoic acid-dependent inhibition of BMP signaling

Rekler, D., Kalcheim, C.

The mechanisms regulating the end of neural crest ontogeny are poorly understood. Inhibition of retinoic acid signaling in the neural tube prevents the normal upregulation of BMP inhibitors in the nascent roof plate. The cellular and molecular architecture of the roof plate is compromised.

1
2
1
Abstract

Production and emigration of neural crest cells is a transient process followed by the emergence of the definitive roof plate. The mechanisms regulating the end of neural crest ontogeny are poorly understood. Whereas early crest development is stimulated by mesoderm-derived retinoic acid, we report that the end of the neural crest period is regulated by retinoic acid synthesized in the dorsal neural tube. Inhibition of retinoic acid signaling in the neural tube prevents the normal upregulation of BMP inhibitors in the nascent roof plate and prolongs the period of BMP responsiveness which otherwise ceases close to roof plate establishment. Consequently, neural crest production and emigration are extended well into the roof plate stage. Although several roof plate-specific genes are normally expressed in the absence of retinoic acid signaling, roof plate and crest markers are co-expressed in single cells and this domain also contains dorsal interneurons. Hence, the cellular and molecular architecture of the roof plate is compromised. Collectively, our results demonstrate that neural tube-derived retinoic acid, via inhibition of BMP signaling, is an essential factor responsible for the end of neural crest generation and the proper segregation of dorsal neural lineages.