Research Article: Neural Induction without Mesoderm in Xenopus

Date Published: May 11, 2004

Publisher: Public Library of Science

Author(s): unknown

Abstract: None

Partial Text: Formation of the central nervous system has long been thought to result from an induction process, whereby signals emanating from a portion of the dorsal endomesoderm (the inner middle layer of the developing embryo), known as the Spemann–Mangold organizer, instruct cells of the overlying dorsal ectoderm (outer layer) to become neural instead of epidermal. The Spemann–Mangold organizer was itself defined in Spemann and Mangold’s seminal 1924 publication as a portion of the dorsal “vegetal” half (also known as the endodermal, or inner, layer) of a gastrulating Xenopus frog embryo that could induce the differentiation of a whole new axis, including a new central nervous system, when grafted into an abnormal location. (Gastrulation is the process that establishes the basic body plan of the organism as cells arrange themselves into three embryonic germ layers: the endoderm, mesoderm, and ectoderm.) From these and later experiments, the notion emerged that neural induction in Xenopus takes place at gastrulation and requires signals from the mesoderm. (The Spemann–Mangold organizer is itself derived from the endomesoderm.)



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