The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 49: 221 - 230 (2005)

Vol 49, Issue 2-3

Special Issue: The Nogent Institute

Common mechanisms for boundary formation in somitogenesis and brain development: shaping the 'chic' chick

Published: 1 May 2005

Yoshiko Takahashi*

Center for Developmental Biology, RIKEN, Kobe, Japan and Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Nara, Japan


When organs and tissues acquire their characteristic shapes and functions during early development, boundaries are established that distinguish between and delimit distinct areas. Such boundaries are not mere edges, but also play important roles as secondary signaling centers in subsequent morphogenesis. Following on pioneering findings provided by studies in Drosophila, the mechanisms underlying boundary formation in vertebrate embryogenesis have attracted the interest of an increasing number of researchers. Somitogenesis and brain development, in particular, serve as model systems for the study of the molecular and cellular events occurring at developing boundaries. Recent findings allow us to draw some general pictures concerning the shared mechanisms that participate in these processes of organogenesis, in which Notch, Eph/ephrin and cadherin-mediated signaling are among the main key regulators.


somite, cell signaling, Notch, Eph, vertebrogenesis

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