Cl10 - MCDB 4650 DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY CLASS NOTES Class 10...

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MCDB 4650 DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY CLASS NOTES Class 10 1 Induction and patterning of the nervous system Reading: Chp 12: 380-391 (review first part of chapter on neurulation if you choose) Learning Goals Be able to: Design experiments that indicate the importance of certain molecules for D/V patterning of the neural tube Explain the overlying principles of neural fate specification and commitment to different fates. Distinguish between intrinsic differences and signaling interactions that lead cells to their eventual fate in the nervous system Design experiments that prove both mechanisms are involved in the above. The ectoderm differentiates into two major body components -- the epidermis, which is the outer layer of the skin, and the nervous system. Ectodermal cells are epithelial. Although the highly branched, specialized nerve cells do not resemble a layer of simple epithelial cells, these neuronal cells do retain some of the characteristic properties of the epithelial cells from which they originate (for example, a clear polarity). The development of the nervous system is incredibly complex, but can be broken down into roughly 4 phases: 1) competence and segregation (or induction) of neuronal cells from ectoderm (discussed in class 9), 2) regional specification and differentiation of different kinds of neuronal cells (class 9 and today), 3) axonal pathfinding to establish connections, and 4) maintenance of connections among neuronal cells. We will discuss phases 3 and 4 later in the course. We’ve gotten up to the point so far of describing the commitment of cells within the neural ectoderm and the many signals involved. One more general set of patterning events takes place before we can think about the differentiation of individual fates within the nervous system, and that is the patterning of the Dorsal-Ventral axis of the nervous system. These patterning events take place just after neurulation is complete. The dorsal/ventral differences of the neural tube are most evident in the spinal cord, which is organized into distinct dorsal and ventral regions with different functions (10.14, 1012). --Dorsal region ( sensory ). These dorsal regions contain primarily interneurons that are synapsed on by axons from sensory neurons located in the peripheral nervous system. The dorsal-most region of the alar plate is called the roof plate.
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