Broom ER, Gilthorpe JD, Butts T, Campo-Paysaa F, Wingate RJ (2012) The roof plate boundary is a bi-directional organiser of dorsal neural tube and choroid plexus development. Development 139: 4261-70

The roof plate is a signalling centre positioned at the dorsal midline of the central nervous system and generates dorsalising morphogenic signals along the length of the neuraxis. Within cranial ventricles, the roof plate gives rise to choroid plexus, which regulates the internal environment of the developing and adult brain and spinal cord via the secretion of cerebrospinal fluid. Using the fourth ventricle as our model, we show that the organiser properties of the roof plate are determined by its boundaries with the adjacent neuroepithelium. Through a combination of in ovo transplantation, co-culture and electroporation techniques in chick embryos between embryonic days 3 and 6, we demonstrate that organiser properties are maintained by interactions between the non-neural roof plate and the neural rhombic lip. At the molecular level, this interaction is mediated by Delta-Notch signalling and upregulation of the chick homologue of Hes1: chairy2. Gain- and loss-of-function approaches reveal that cdelta1 is both necessary and sufficient for organiser function. Our results also demonstrate that while chairy2 is specifically required for the maintenance of the organiser, its ectopic expression is not sufficient to recapitulate organiser properties. Expression of atonal1 in the rhombic lip adjacent at the roof plate boundary is acutely dependent on both boundary cell interactions and Delta-Notch signalling. Correspondingly, the roof plate boundary organiser also signals to the roof plate itself to specify the expression of early choroid plexus markers. Thus, the roof plate boundary organiser signals bi-directionally to acutely coordinate the development of adjacent neural and non-neural tissues.

Pubmed: 23052907