DOI: 10.1101/261883Feb 7, 2018Paper

Lineage tracing axial progenitors using Nkx1.2CreERT2 mice defines their trunk and tail contributions

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Aida Rodrigo AlborsKate G Storey

Abstract

The vertebrate body forms by continuous generation of new tissue from progenitors at the posterior end of the embryo. In mice, these axial progenitors initially reside in the epiblast, from where they form the trunk; and later relocate to the chordo-neural hinge of the tail bud to form the tail. Among them, a small group of bipotent neuromesodermal progenitors (NMPs) are thought to generate the spinal cord and paraxial mesoderm to the end of axis elongation. The study of these progenitors, however, has proven challenging in vivo due to their small numbers and dynamic nature, and the lack of a unique molecular marker to identify them. Here, we report the generation of the Nkx1.2CreERT2 transgenic mouse line in which the endogenous Nkx1.2 promoter drives tamoxifen-inducible CreERT2 recombinase. We show that Nkx1.2CreERT2 targets axial progenitors, including NMPs and early neural and mesodermal progenitors. Using a YFP reporter, we demonstrate that Nkx1.2-expressing epiblast cells contribute to all three germ layers, mostly neuroectoderm and mesoderm excluding notochord; and continue contributing neural and paraxial mesoderm tissues from the tail bud. This study identifies the Nkx1.2-expressing cell population as the source of mos...Continue Reading

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