Author(s): Kil SH, Streit A, Brown ST, Agrawal N, Collazo A,
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Abstract The hindbrain and cranial paraxial mesoderm have been implicated in the induction and patterning of the inner ear, but the precise role of the two tissues in these processes is still not clear. We have addressed these questions using the vitamin-A-deficient (VAD) quail model, in which VAD embryos lack the posterior half of the hindbrain that normally lies next to the inner ear. Using a battery of molecular markers, we show that the anlagen of the inner ear, the otic placode, is induced in VAD embryos in the absence of the posterior hindbrain. By performing grafting and ablation experiments in chick embryos, we also show that cranial paraxial mesoderm which normally lies beneath the presumptive otic placode is necessary for otic placode induction and that paraxial mesoderm from other locations cannot induce the otic placode. Two members of the fibroblast growth factor family, FGF3 and FGF19, continue to be expressed in this mesodermal population in VAD embryos, and these may be responsible for otic placode induction in the absence of the posterior hindbrain. Although the posterior hindbrain is not required for otic placode induction in VAD embryos, the subsequent patterning of the inner ear is severely disrupted. Several regional markers of the inner ear, such as Pax2, EphA4, SOHo1 and Wnt3a, are incorrectly expressed in VAD otocysts, and the sensory patches and vestibulo-acoustic ganglia are either greatly reduced or absent. Exogenous application of retinoic acid prior to 30 h of development is able rescue the VAD phenotype. By performing such rescue experiments before and after 30 h of development, we show that the inner ear defects of VAD embryos correlate with the absence of the posterior hindbrain. These results show that induction and patterning of the inner ear are governed by separate developmental processes that can be experimentally uncoupled from each other.
This article was published in Dev Biol
and referenced in Anatomy & Physiology: Current Research