Conversion of neural plate explants to pre-placodal ectoderm-like tissue in vitro

Yasuyo Shigetani, Yoshio Wakamatsu, Toshiaki Tachibana, Masataka Okabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Neural crest and cranial sensory placodes arise from ectodermal epithelium lying between the neural plate and non-neural ectoderm (neural border). BMP signaling is important for both an induction of the neural border and a subsequent induction of the neural crest within the neural border. In contrast, FGF signaling is important for the neural border induction and the following induction of the pre-placodal ectoderm (PPE), which later gives rise to the cranial sensory placodes. While previous studies have demonstrated that the neural plate explants could be converted to the neural crest cells by adding BMP4 in a culture medium, there is no report showing a similar conversion of the neural plate to the PPE. We therefore examined the effect of FGF2 along with BMP4 on the rostral neural plate explants and found that the explants became the simple squamous epithelia, which were characterized by the desmosomes/tonofilaments in membranes of adjacent cells. Such epithelia expressed sets of neural border markers and the PPE genes, suggesting that the neural plate explants were converted to a PPE-like tissue. This method will be useful for further studying mechanisms of PPE induction and subsequent specifications of the cranial placodes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)807-813
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and biophysical research communications
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Sept 2


  • BMP4
  • FGF2
  • Neural border
  • Neural crest
  • Neural plate
  • Pre-placodal ectoderm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Conversion of neural plate explants to pre-placodal ectoderm-like tissue in vitro'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this