DOI: 10.1101/503854Dec 21, 2018Paper

Genetic approaches in mice demonstrate that neuro-mesodermal progenitors express T/Brachyury but not Sox2

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Dorothee MugeleAndrew Copp


Neural tube and somites have long been thought to derive from separate germ layers: the ectoderm and mesoderm. This concept was challenged by the discovery of neuro-mesodermal progenitors, a bi-potent cell population that gives rise to both spinal neural tube and somites. In line with their proposed potency, these cells are considered to co-express the neural marker Sox2 and the mesodermal marker T/Brachyury. We performed genetic lineage tracing in mouse embryos and confirmed that T-expressing cells give rise to both neural tube and mesoderm. Surprisingly, however, Sox2-expressing cell derivatives colonise only the neural tube after embryonic day 8.5. Deletion of Sox2 in T-expressing cells was compatible with an otherwise normal neural tube and paraxial mesoderm. Moreover, Sox2 expression is absent from the chordoneural hinge, where neuro-mesodermal progenitors are located. Our findings demonstrate that neuro-mesodermal progenitors express T but not Sox2, suggesting the need for re-evaluation of the neuro-mesodermal progenitor hypothesis.

Related Concepts

Gene Deletion
Laboratory mice
Stem Cells
Neural Tube
SOX2 Transcription Factor
Genetic Analysis
Protein Expression

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