Completion of neural crest cell production and emigration is regulated by retinoic-acid-dependent inhibition of BMP signaling

Dina Rekler, Chaya Kalcheim*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Production and emigration of neural crest cells is a transient process followed by the emergence of the definitive roof plate. The mechanisms regulating the end of neural crest ontogeny are poorly understood. Whereas early crest development is stimulated by mesoderm-derived retinoic acid, we report that the end of the neural crest period is regulated by retinoic acid synthesized in the dorsal neural tube. Inhibition of retinoic acid signaling in the neural tube prevents the normal upregulation of BMP inhibitors in the nascent roof plate and prolongs the period of BMP responsiveness which otherwise ceases close to roof plate establishment. Consequently, neural crest production and emigration are extended well into the roof plate stage. In turn, extending the activity of neural crest-specific genes inhibits the onset of retinoic acid synthesis in roof plate suggesting a mutual repressive interaction between neural crest and roof plate traits. Although several roof platespecific genes are normally expressed in the absence of retinoic acid signaling, roof plate and crest markers are co-expressed in single cells and this domain also contains dorsal interneurons. Hence, the cellular and molecular architecture of the roof plate is compromised. Collectively, our results demonstrate that neural tube-derived retinoic acid, via inhibition of BMP signaling, is an essential factor responsible for the end of neural crest generation and the proper segregation of dorsal neural lineages.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere72723
StatePublished - 8 Apr 2022

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@ 2022 Rekler and Kalcheim.


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