The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 51: 447 - 461 (2007)

Vol 51, Issue 6-7

Special Issue: Ear Development

The preplacodal region: an ectodermal domain with multipotential progenitors that contribute to sense organs and cranial sensory ganglia

Published: 30 November -0001

Andrea Streit*

Department of Craniofacial Development, King's College London, Guy's Campus, London, UK


The otic primordium belongs to a group of related structures, the sensory placodes that contribute to the paired sense organs - ear, eye and olfactory epithelium - and to the distal parts of the cranial sensory ganglia. Recent evidence suggests that despite their diversity, all placodes share a common developmental origin and a common molecular mechanism which initiates their formation. At the base of placode induction lies the specification of a unique "placode field", termed the preplacodal region and acquisition of this "preplacodal state" is required for ectodermal cells to undergo otic development. Here I review the molecular mechanisms that sequentially subdivide the ectoderm to give rise to the placode territory.


BMP, ear, ectoderm, epibranchial, eye, FGF, olfactory epithelium, sensory placodes, Wnt

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